June 26 2017: Budget delivers on regionwide plans for the future
Lowest rates rise since amalgamation & all loans paid-out
Cassowary Coast Regional Council has paid out all its loans and delivered the lowest rates rise since amalgamation in its 2017-18 Budget.
Cassowary Coast Mayor John Kremastos said the 'no-frills' budget provided for residents and was a solid foundation for future growth and investment in the region.
The rates rise is below the CPI.
"For the second year in a row this council has delivered a budget with the lowest rates rise since amalgamation - and this financial year we have also achieved a milestone for the region by becoming a debt-free council,'' Mayor Kremastos said.
"This council has embarked on significant changes including a restructure. Future budgets will benefit from this. With ongoing strong financial management, Council will continue to deliver key services and assets for residents while investing in the future."
The $78.1 million budget has major projects including the Mission Beach Aquatic Facility, replacing Victory Creek Bridge, region-wide unsealed road renewals, Tully Gorge Rd landslip work, a significant region-wide culvert replacement program with major works on Alexander Drive, a landfill capping project, water and sewerage infrastructure renewals and a new water reservoir.
There will be an average general rates rise of 1.65 per cent. The overall rates and charges increase is 2.09 per cent. This equates to an average weekly residential rates rise of $1.51 cents.
Mayor Kremastos said Council's pensioner remission and early payment discount remained in place. He said most recommendations from the rates reference group announced in the last budget had been taken on board in the creation of the 2017-18 Budget.
"Depreciation remains a challenge for us, with this region's comparatively high level of infrastructure for its population base,'' he said. "This is something we are committed to managing going forward.
"We have worked hard to secure external funding and this has led to a $5.8 million boost to the 2017-18 Budget."
The 2017-18 Budget includes $14.74 million to maintain, renew and replace roads, bridges, pathways and stormwater assets and $9.672 million for maintaining, renewing and replacing Council's water and sewerage infrastructure.
Mayor Kremastos said Council would continue its commitment to projects which would help drive a stronger economy and generate jobs.
“Work will continue on aerodrome improvements, a new region-wide 'Wayfinding' strategy, the Mission Beach Aquatic Facility, on attracting major events such as the IRF World Rafting Championships, on Work for Queensland projects that have already created jobs in our region and on recruitment of trainees and apprentices to give the younger generation a future on the Cassowary Coast."
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2017-18 BUDGET
- $14.74 million for road, bridge, drainage and walkway/cycleway network improvements (including replacing Victory Creek Bridge at Daradgee with a two-lane bridge, repairing a landslip (Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery funding) and widening a section of Tully Gorge Rd, replacing culverts on Alexander Drive at Mission Beach and Bryant St in Tully, renewing Seres Road Bridge at Mena Creek, Kings Bridge at Murray Upper and South Ramleh Rd Bridge at Moresby, culvert replacement work on Bryant St in Tully, regionwide road reseal work).
- $6.05 million on water infrastructure improvements (including $1.228 million for general water programs in the Innisfail, Nyleta and Cardwell water systems, $760,000 on automatic water meter readers for Tully, Silkwood, El Arish and Kurrimine properties, $200,000 to replace problem mains in El Arish and Silkwood, $1.316 million on a new reservoir to service Mission Beach and $625,000 for a cast iron water main renewals program in Tully's CBD).
- $3.62 million for sewerage infrastructure improvements (including $1 million to renew sewer mains servicing Mission Beach, $1.13 million for re-lining work to reduce groundwater infiltration for the Innisfail and Tully schemes and $300,000 to renew an Innisfail pump station).
- $5.81 million towards ongoing construction of the Mission Beach Aquatic Facility ($4 million of this through State and Federal Government grants secured by Council).
- $1.788 million for waste management works (featuring $1.27 million to cap and close a section of the Tully landfill).
- $500,000 to renew a section of the Flying Fish Point seawall.
- $481,000 for works at Mundoo Aerodrome including a full reseal of the runway and taxiway.
- $264,000 to renew and upgrade Council's community and pensioner housing facilities.
SMALLER BUDGET ITEMS
$160,000 for Works for Queensland-funded community projects (including refurbishing the Tully Golden Gumboot, Jackey Jackey Park playground fencing at South Mission Beach, an Innisfail showgrounds power supply upgrade, Penning Park path extension at Tully Heads and the Kurrimine Esplanade walkway).
$135,000 on new Christmas decorations for the region's major centres.
$20,000 on new lawn beams at Innisfail and Tully cemeteries.
$130,000 on a regionwide "Wayfinding" strategy to promote the Cassowary Coast.
$18,000 to repair the Kennedy Walking Track at South Mission Beach.
$134,000 on park, open space and sports ground renewals.
$100,000 on renewals and shade sails at public playgrounds.
$15,000 on bench seats at the head of the Cardwell jetty.
$50,000 on renewing bus shelters and public transport facilities.