Council presents $131m budget
GYMPIE Regional Council Mayor Ron Dyne yesterday presented the council's budget for 2010-11 a budget he said was framed with a view to the future.
“The framing of Council's budget is always a challenge not only for the coming year but for future years as well,” he said.
“There is an increasing emphasis placed on council to plan for the future and implement decisions that will ensure the financial sustainability of this council into the future.
“This budget contains no new loan borrowings for 2010/11. The Budget projects a total expenditure of $131 million.
Cr Dyne said council has taken into account:
(a) Rationalisation of council's rating structures. Last year of the phase-in period for general rates.
(b) Continued costs of amalgamation;
(c) Ever-rising expectations of residents in all areas of services provided by the council;
(d) Managing the range and quality of infrastructure and services;
(e) Construction and maintenance costs of infrastructure increasing much greater than CPI ;
(f) Increased environmental requirements in relation to water, sewerage and waste management operations;
(g) Proposed changes to the Local Government Act with greater emphasis on financial sustainability and asset management;
(h) Government reduction in funding; and
(i) Large increases in energy costs (electricity).
General rate revenue collected for the Gympie region will increase 5.95%. Discount where applicable 5%. Council's rebate for eligible pensioners will be $140 per annum.
“Office accommodation projects are planned for completion this year at an estimated cost of $2m,” Cr Dyne said.
“Council will direct significant funds towards road maintenance with a total provision of $4.462m. $9.36m of new funding has been provided for capital road, drainage and bridge works. Footpaths and verges $930,000 for maintenance. Plant operations $4.659m and replacement of plant $2.279m.
“Council libraries $2.286m for operational and capital expenditure. Regional Art Gallery $389,000 for operational expenditure.
“Ongoing funding of $1.457m has been provided for parks and reserves maintenance and $1.191m for capital improvements.
“Funding has been provided for public conveniences at Rainbow Beach, Goomeri and refurbishment of the Ramsey Road amenities and with cleaning, maintenance and vandalism a total allocation of $1.113m.
“Maintaining and upgrading of swimming pools $519,000.
“The long awaited Rainbow Beach Community Hall has been funded to the tune of $1.406m. Facilities for the SES at Tin Can Bay $150,000 for a new shed.
“$974,000 has been provided to continue council's ongoing Lands Protection strategy in the areas of environmental, noxious weeds and wild dog control.
“An Environment Levy of $27.50 per assessed property will partly fund these operations.
“Gympie Regional Council is committed to responsible financial management and the infrastructure levy will remain at $100 per assessed property.
“Cleansing charges will rise by 7.4%. Operating cost for Waste Management Facilities has been allocated $2.247 million. Waste Management Operation charge will increase to $210 for properties in the contract service area of the previous Cooloola Shire who opt not to have a wheelie bin service.
“Capital Works funded from the Waste Management Charge, Facility Establishment, (which has been set at $75 per assessed property) include purchase of Toolara land for central land fill, Bonnick Road Transfer Station and commencement of a transfer station at Cooloola Coast, a total cost of $10.88m.
“Council is advancing with a Regional Plan, a further $562,000 being allocated including $100,000 for a region wide flood study.
“Water charges are now uniform throughout the region. Access charge for residential property will be $302.40. 1st tier consumption charge 80c per kl and 2nd tier consumption charge $1.50 per kl.
“Capital Works for Water Supply amount to $6.4 million with $2.75m allocated to the Gympie Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and $1.6m for fluoridation.
“Sewerage charges are now uniform across the region, fee for residential is $513.20. Total Capital works for the sewerage systems amount to $18.57m, majority for the Gympie plant of $16m. Including an allocation of $800,000 to progress the sewering of Southside.”