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Happy ALL Year!

Jan 24, 2019 | Mayor's Blog

Extract from the North Burnett News which appeared in the Central and North Burnett Times, 24 January 2019.

Happy ALL year everyone! Yes, you read it right, happy ALL year. I’ve decided Happy New Year just isn’t long enough and shouldn’t we all be striving for happiness all year round anyway?

I hope you did whatever made your heart happy over the festive period, I certainly did and have to pass on my thanks to Deputy Mayor Faye for taking care of business whilst I spend some time with my family.  So the question that gets asked a lot this time of year… What is your new year’s resolution? Like them or hate them, it seems with each new year there is a chance to start over, and even though this chance exists every single day regardless of the date (good news if you’ve already broken yours), as humans we tend to lean towards making this time of year our time to set goals for the next 12 months.

Council is a bit different in that each new set of goals are released at the end of June when we release the next 12 month budget. To this end, our first budget meeting of this year (we had meetings at the end of last year) is on 24th January and these meetings will take place
until April where we will finalise our fees and charges, rates and projects for 2019/2020 financial year. Like your own household budget, there is never enough money to do what you want to do, BUT as leader of this council I refuse to look at it that way. Yes, there’s never enough, but there is money, which through good prioritisation and good decisions can be utilized well.

Aside from that, it is up to us to strongly and professionally advocate on your behalf to those who are able to further fund our region.
Did you know that our annual budgets consists of around 37% income from rates (your money) and then around 52% income from the State and Federal governments, none of their money is guaranteed year by year. The remaining amount of approximately 11% is from other sources such as investment income and fees and charges.

It’s sometimes hard to show people the work that goes on behind the scenes but a large part of your councilors job is to make sure the North Burnett puts up a good enough case to receive this State and Commonwealth money. Each year we must COMPETE with the 71 other
councils in QLD and the 537 councils in Australia. We have been strong in this arena for many years, and have had an unusual and uncalled for advantage in being noticed due to our disasters however we can always improve. Good news is that we are, we are getting much stronger, more articulate and more professional in the way we go into bat on behalf of our communities.

Don’t forget, we compete with councils such as Gold Coast, Townsville and the like. My new year’s resolution in council is to further and
more openly communicate all the ins and outs of council to you, so that you understand just what your council does. When I came into council, even I thought it all was cloak and dagger stuff, what I have since found is that it isn’t, we have just been less than ideal at 
communication. Lucky for us, ‘tis a new year.