RATES across Banana Shire will increase by an average 3.8%, following the delivery of Council's budget on Monday afternoon.
Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige, who presented his first budget, said Council worked hard to balance its objectives of service delivery within the constraints of affordability and fiscal responsibility.
"The challenges facing Local Government as an industry are well documented, and with the severe reduction in State Government funding and subsidies over the last several years Councils have had to undergo some considerable belt tightening. Further, as an industry we have had to become more creative in our approach to funding capital projects. To this end Banana Shire has worked hard to develop and establish partnerships with industry in order to progress a number of projects," Cr Carige said.
"This year Council has again utilised rate capping as a means of smoothing out the fluctuations in rate increases brought about by the two recent revaluations for the Shire.
"Council remains on track to phase out rate capping over the next couple of years.
"Further, Council continues with its objective of phasing in rating parity over the next several years.
"Once again, from a strategic perspective Council has formulated its budget with the joint aims of balancing Council's objectives of service delivery within the constraints of affordability and fiscal responsibility.
"It is almost impossible to give an average percentage general rate increase given the above circumstances. However, in the urban areas the average general rate increase is between $1.00 and $2.00 per week.
"As previous stated, the compounding impact of the two previous property revaluations has caused variations to rate increases across the Shire.
"Council has also budgeted to increase water access charges by 3.5% and sewerage charges by 3.6% on average. Water consumption charges have been increased by an average of 3.5%.
"An important objective for Council is to make its utility services fully self funding within the next 7-9 years, and we continue to work positively towards this objective.
"In the 2012/13 budget Council has committed nearly $2M towards upgrades to waste infrastructure facilities. These projects are a continuation of the four year program to bring Council's facilities up to standard adopted by Council in 2010.
"Council has not budgeted for any further loan borrowings for this financial year and will continue to monitor its borrowing throughout the year with a view to reducing its loan balances where appropriate. I am pleased to advise that during the course of the 2011/12 financial year Council repaid an additional $260,000 of one of its loans as contributions were received.
"Once again Council has budgeted to fully fund depreciation in this budget at an estimated total cost of $10.3M.
"Importantly, Council remains committed to achieving the following six key areas into the future:
3. Fully funded depreciation
4. Fully self funding utility services
5. Full cost recovery
6. Maintaining an operational surplus
Operating $46.2 million (excluding depreciation)
Operating $56.5 million (including depreciation)
Capital $53.9 million (including flood damage)
MAJOR PROJECTS 2012/13
Council Halls & Buildings
· Completion of Council Administration Building
· Completion of Auburn Street duplex
· Taroom duplex
· Completion of Moura Youth Centre
· Kianga Hall (drainage, air-conditioning, lighting)
· Biloela Library (air-conditioning)
· Taroom Town Hall refurbishments
· Community Resource Centre refurbishments
· Baralaba Hall ceiling
Swimming Pools & Sporting Complexes
· Moura Recreation Reserve - change rooms
· Moura Recreation Reserve - lighting upgrade
· Magavalis - shelters, pathway lighting
· Biloela Swimming Pool Upgrade
· Taroom Swimming Pool Upgrade & Fencing
Parks, Gardens & Recreation
· Gilbert's Lookout - viewing platform
· Banana Park landscaping
· Biloela Lions Park upgrade
· Moura Rotary Park - exercise station
· Upgraded park lighting throughout the shire
· Taroom Showgrounds - power & lighting
Environmental / Pest Management
· Moura Washdown
· Baralaba Washdown
· Taroom Washdown
· Taroom Dip - quarantine & draining pens
· Taroom Dip - amenities block
· Upgrade Taroom (dependent on funding)
· Upgrade Thangool (dependent on funding)
· Asphalt surfacing Thangool (dependent on funding)
· Fencing Thangool
· Taroom Industrial Estate
· Raedon Street Biloela Industrial Estate
· Biloela - planning and landscaping, drainage
· Biloela - toilet block
· Thangool rehabilitation
· Trap Gully stage 2
· Baralaba Transfer Station
· Banana Transfer Station
· Moura Transfer Station
Roads & Drainage
· Illuminated speed signs Biloela
· Illuminated speed signs Taroom
· Entrance signs Moura
· Entrance signs Taroom
· $1.68M urban construction
· $1.15M urban drainage
· $1.74M rural construction
· $0.7M rural drainage
· $0.9M rural reseal
· $0.4M bikeways and footpaths
· $4.5M road maintenance
· Meter replacement
· Valves and hydrants
· Mains replacement
· Fluoridation upgrade - Moura & Biloela
· Telemetry completion
· Trunk mains augmentation Biloela
· Bore refurbishments
· Chlorination upgrade / replacement
· Water Treatment Plant - Moura (dependent on funding)
· Water Treatment Plant - Baralaba (dependent on funding)
· Sewerage Treatment Plant upgrade, Biloela
· Sewerage Treatment Plant upgrade, Theodore (dependent on funding)
· Sewerage Treatment Plant upgrade, Taroom
Flood Mitigation Works
· Flood alert siren, Wowan
· Flood gauge markers
· Rainfall and river height stations