On Wednesday 28 June, North Burnett Regional Council adopted the 2023-2024 Budget, Operational Plan and Revenue Statement.
Acting Mayor Councillor Robbie Radel said, “Council’s priority is once again essential service delivery and getting the basics right, as shown by this Budget.”
“Responsible, sustainable, and accountable are the themes of this realistic budget. Councillors noted in their discussions that the economic climate is challenging for our region’s ratepayers, businesses, and for Council, too.”
“We understand that our residents are feeling the effects of the rising cost of living, we too feel these challenges. Council has made a responsible decision to increase rates by 5%, in a concerted attempt to offset some rising costs. This rate increase is still below CPI of 6.9%.”
“Our budget will continue to support our region with efficient service delivery, management of our assets and balance global financial pressures.”
“Following on from the Service Delivery Review we conducted in 2020-2021 we have confidence in our informed decisions that have identified and implemented efficiencies and operational savings to improve our sustainability.”
“Council has forecasted total income of $62,752,000 in the 2023-2024 year, which includes capital grants and contributions of $17,278,000. Expenditure forecasted in this budget is $50,034,000, which will lead to a net surplus result of $12,718,000. Excluding capital grants and contributions, Council is forecasted to have a net operating deficit of $4,560,000, however in our 10 year forecast, this annual operating deficit is decreasing year on year and forecasted to return to achieving operating surplus ratio benchmarks in the long term plan.
“With only a small ratepayer basis and limited revenue opportunities, we will continue to advocate for the return of sustainable Federal Assistance Grants”.
“Roads, waste and water are core Council business, the capital expenditure budget highlights this no frills, essential commitment to our residents.”
“Roads are critical North Burnett infrastructure. This year we are significantly investing in our roads network. This includes $1.58 million in resealing programs to ensure the longevity of our sealed road network. We will also include an additional $1.0 million towards road maintenance program funded through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.”
“With recent floods, our bridges have been particularly affected, requiring substantial repair, so we are committing $851,000 for bridge refurbishment works.”
“We know that the Gayndah – Mount Perry Road is an important issue to our residents and visitors. That is why we are putting $900,000 towards the first of four stages for the Gayndah – Mount Perry Road, subject to receiving TIDS Grant.”
“Keeping our kids safe is a priority, with $242,656 going towards our Safestreet program for Regional School Zone Improvements”.
“As a region prone to and having experienced significant rain events last year, we are putting out a helping hand and improving our preparedness with $5.8 million for Disaster Recovery, subject to receiving external grant funding.”
“With our growing community, we recognise the need for effective and responsible waste services whilst encouraging resource recovery, committing $3.7 million for the Mundubbera Landfill expansion.”
“Another essential service is the delivery of water. An investment of $1.25 million for North Burnett Regional water safety and reliability project (subject to additional external funding) and $200,000 for the Biggenden Sewerage Treatment Plant capacity restoration has been allocated.”
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