It gives me great pleasure to introduce my eighth annual budget as Mayor of Isaac Regional Council.
I acknowledge the contributions of my fellow Councillors and staff in framing this document which is the final budget of the 2016-20 term of Council.
We have worked hard to deliver a Budget we believe reflects the best interests of the communities of our region and one which demonstrates an appreciation of the cost of living pressures affecting Isaac households.
This year’s Budget reinforces our continued focus on the fundamentals of good local government; delivering critical Infrastructure, Services and Active and Attractive Communities. In this respect, our financial settings and programs for the coming year form the basis of a truly ISAAC budget.
Importantly, the 2019-20 Budget continues Council’s commitment to sustainable and prudent financial management. Independent assessment of Council’s fiscal position by the Queensland Audit Office continues to rank Isaac Regional Council as having a low risk of financial sustainability concerns.
In 2019-20 the increase in general rates will be held at just 1.5%.
That is a rate-in-the-dollar increase of 1.5% across all rating categories, which is good news for property owners where economic activity has not changed.
Land valuations have also not been reviewed by the State Government for 2019-20 so this will not be an influencing factor in rating assessments.
The outcomes for 2019-20 align with our Long-Term Financial Forecast, which has been framed on the basis that rate increases will be set at 2% or lower.
Utility charges for waste management and sewerage provision, as well as the Disaster Management Levy, have also been held at 1.5%.
Council remains focused on those fundamentals which enhance the liveability and connectivity of the region’s communities, underpinned by a $51.4 million capital program in 2019-20.
This investment will be directed to improving critical infrastructure and supporting active and attractive communities, and include: $27.4 million for roadworks, $6.2 million for water projects, $5.8 million for wastewater services, $3.2 million to waste management and $5 million to community facilities.
A further $2.4 million has been allocated to plant, fleet and workshops, $515,000 for internal services and support and $833,000 for parks and recreation.
Recent budgets have been bolstered by millions in infrastructure restoration funding provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), a joint initiative of the Commonwealth and Queensland governments
But the region reached a significant milestone in May, completing its $50.1 million NDRRA restoration program from Tropical Cyclone Debbie. This is a great achievement and I acknowledge the support provided by the Federal and State governments toassist us on the path to recovery.
The 2019-20 Budget includes $2 million for new water enhancement projects in Clermont as part of our commitment to the community to improve the quality and sustainability of Clermont’s water supply, supported by $900,000 provided under the State Government’s Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.
The $16 million Pasha Road upgrade will be completed in 2019-20 with the State Government providing a further $13 million to pave and seal the remaining gravel sections of the road between the intersection with Eaglefield Road to the intersection with Riverside Mine Road.
Other key road projects include $2 million to deliver Stage Two of the Mills Avenue rehabilitation in Moranbah, funded through the Australian Goverment’s Roads to Recovery Program.
In addition, there is $1.5 million to rehabilitate a 2.5-kilometre section of Golden Mile Road and $1.3 million to pave and seal sections of Mackenzie River-Capella Rd, both co-funded under the State’s Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme.
Isaac is a proud and passionate resources and agricultural region, our communities are home to generations of proud mining and farming families.
As Mayor, I am absolutely proud of the role our region continues to play in helping to energise the world.
Mayor Anne Baker
Isaac Regional Council