Council adopted the 2012-2013 Budget at a special meeting on Thursday 9 August 2012.
The following are Budget documents:
Budget at a Glance
Report on Budget Variations
The following are media releases, explaining the 2012-13 Budget:
Balanced 2012-13 Budget Paves the Way for the Future
The Cassowary Coast region will reap the benefits of a record $141 million capital works program, substantially boosted by Cyclone Yasi recovery projects.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council has brought down a 2012-13 Budget with a strong emphasis on both Cyclone Yasi recovery and financial responsibility.
Mayor Bill Shannon said the 2012-13 Budget had been Council's most challenging yet, faced with soaring insurance costs which account for one per cent of the rates rise, ever-increasing electricity costs, the carbon tax and the need to keep the rates rise as low as possible for residents.
This year's general rates rise is 4.9 per cent. The minimum residential general rate will rise by $47. There are also increases to utility charges and separate levies to reflect the cost of these services.
Cr Shannon said the rises were as low as possible. They took into account the tough economic times but also the community’s service expectations and the need for strong financial management.
Cassowary Coast Regional Council has again delivered a balanced, rather than deficit, budget.
Cr Shannon said the $141 million capital works program featured $98M worth of Cyclone Yasi recovery work, funded by the Federal and State Government and including a revamp of the Cardwell esplanade and repairs to Mission Beach and Dunk Island jetties. The massive program also included $26.9M of new capital works including $9.9M worth of improvements to roads, bridges, pathways and culverts.
“This budget marks the completion of essential major infrastructure projects including the Innisfail Water Treatment Plant and the Innisfail Sewerage Treatment Plant. It includes Stage 1 of Tully's Butler St upgrade and progresses Innisfail's new library, Mission Beach's swimming pool plans and the Cardwell sewerage scheme proposal,’’ Cr Shannon said.
"Some of our biggest ageing infrastructure issues have now been addressed. After spending significant dollars on essential infrastructure upgrades in the northern part of the region, a large portion of our capital works program will be spent in the southern part of the region this financial year.
"Rates are Council's primary income. They fund vital infrastructure maintenance and renewal, community programs and other projects and services expected of local government.
"We have worked long and hard on this Budget. An important part of the process has been identifying savings, reviewing services and containing costs. Some examples are absorbing new legislative responsibilities in-house and deferring appointments."
Cr Shannon said the pensioner discount and the early rates payment discount remained in place.
Highlights of the 2012-13 Budget:
•$98 million on cyclone/flood repair and restoration works (approved under the Federal and State Government’s Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements)
•$7.2 million on road improvements (including Stage 1 of Tully's Butler St revamp and improvements to sections of Flying Fish Point Rd, Tully Gorge Rd, Silkwood's Walter Lever Estate Rd, Daradgee's Hernon Rd, Mundoo's Aerodrome Rd & Innisfail's Martin St)
•$2.2 million on bridge replacements and renewals (Mars Bridge and Mackay's Bridge in Tully, Midgeree Bar Bridge at Bingil Bay and McFadden Bridge in Japoonvale). Zonta Bridge in Bilyana, Ronlund Bridge in the Murray Valley and Rinaudo Bridge at Cowley are being separately replaced under NDRRA funding.
•$7.8 million on sewerage upgrades
•$2.195 million on water upgrades (including $750,000 on Mission Beach main renewals, $159,000 on the Nyleta Water Scheme, $150,000 on Tully's Boulder Creek Weir renewal)
•$1.2 million towards a new Innisfail Library
•$500,000 towards a new Mission Beach Aquatic Centre
•$579,000 on stormwater drainage improvements, maintenance & flood mitigation works
•$520,000 on the Kirrama Range Rd bridge renewal program
•$470,000 on pathway extensions/renewals (Porter's Promenade at Mission Beach, Feluga State School, Silkwood, Innisfail State College, McGowan Drive at Innisfail, Emily St at Innisfail.
Smaller Budget items:
•$75,000 for Tully & Cardwell cemetery upgrades including new columbarium wall, shade cover & lawn beam
•$50,000 on Goondi Bend playing field improvements, Innisfail
•$30,000 on Tully Showgrounds drainage improvements
•$30,000 on Tully Swimming Pool clubhouse re-roof
•$30,000 on a pedestrian refuge on Innisfail's Fitzgerald Esplanade
•$94,000 for park shade structure replacements across the region
Budget Reflects Local Gvt Cost Index & 10-Year Forecast
The Cassowary Coast Regional Council's 2012-13 Budget reflects the Local Government Cost Index and Council's 10-year forecast.
Mayor Bill Shannon said 10-year financial sustainability measures, determined under the Local Government Act, were an important element of bringing down each Budget, and this financial year's 4.9 per cent increase was "the rates rise we had to have".
The Local Government Cost Index for 2012 is 3.6 per cent. It is based on historical costs and does not include any allowance for the carbon tax.
The Cassowary Coast Regional Council's 4.9 per cent rates rise includes a one per cent rise that is directly attributable to insurance premium rises following Cyclone Yasi.
The carbon tax accounts for another 0.6 per cent.
"Without the one per cent insurance premium rise and the carbon tax increase we would actually come in under the Local Government Cost Index,'' Cr Shannon said.
"We have worked long and hard on this budget, knowing that the problems we are facing with insurance premiums and electricity costs are also being faced by all of us as ratepayers. In shaping the Budget, our 10-year projections are as important as our one-year budgeting.
"Ten-year projections were introduced for councils to make sure they did not come up against the sort of financial circumstances inherited by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council when it was created over four years ago. The days of councils burying their heads in the sand, cutting corners or not putting up rates to reflect costs are gone.
"The Cassowary Coast Regional Council has worked diligently over the past four years to address our ageing infrastructure problems and financial constraints, and our 10-year projections show this is a viable, responsible council.
"It is very pleasing to pass the sustainability ratio tests as we have done.
"We are moving steadily forward, reducing our debt by $3 million last financial year, achieving clean audits and making sure we have balanced budgets each year to work our way out of the financial situation this region inherited."
Cyclone Yasi Works Boost $141M Capital Works Program
Cyclone Yasi works substantially boost capital works program and Cassowary Coast economy
The region's recovery from Cyclone Yasi continues, with a record $141 million capital works program boosted by substantial State and Federal Government funding.
Ninety-eight million dollars will be spent on Cyclone Yasi projects including the Cardwell Esplanade revamp, repairs to Mission Beach and Dunk Island jetties and a range of road rehabilitation works in Cardwell, Ellerbeck, Kennedy Valley, Murray Valley, Lower Tully, Tully and Mission Beach.
The projects follow successful submissions by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council for Federal and State Government Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements funding.
Mayor Bill Shannon said the record capital works program was a major boost to the local economy and to the region as a whole. Council's capital works program includes $26.914 million worth of new capital works. (See the first media release for highlights from the capital works program.)
Utility Charge & Separate Levy Details
The new Innisfail Sewerage Treatment Plant will open the doors for expansion and economic growth in Innisfail but it will also lead to higher charges for users.
The Innisfail Sewerage Treatment Plant, which was a requirement of State Government and which is currently undergoing final tests before coming fully on line, replaces an ageing plant that has for many years restricted development due to its limited capacity. In addition, the treatment process used in the new sewerage plant will meet more stringent new State and Federal Government requirements for environmental sustainability. The new plant will dramatically improve our discharge into the ocean, better protecting one of the region's greatest assets, the Great Barrier Reef.
This does comes at a cost however and users of the Innisfail Sewerage Treatment Plant will pay additional utility charges to cover significant increases in electricity usage at the new plant, depreciation costs and sludge disposal costs associated with the new process.
The residential sewerage charge in Innisfail will increase by $100.
Sewerage charges will also increase in other parts of the region, but to a lesser extent. In Mission Beach the charge goes up by $50 and in Tully, where the charge has been lower than in Mission Beach, by $78. These increases relate to rising operating costs.
Other fees and charges will also marginally increase across the Cassowary Coast region, to cover ever-rising operating costs.
The garbage charge will go up $20, with $11 being directly attributable to the new carbon tax.
The environmental management levy and transport infrastructure levies will go up $5 and $8 respectively. The funds raised from the transport infrastructure levy will be spent on roads, bridges, culverts, footpaths, bikeways, bus shelters, street lighting etc. The funds raised from the environmental management levy will be spent on waste management, natural resource management such as pest management and foreshore management, and environment protection operations.
Copies of the Budget
If you want a hard copy of the Budget, visit Council's customer service team at the front counter of either the Innisfail or Tully office and place your order. Copies are $30 each.
Use this link to access documents relating to previous Budgets.