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South Burnett Rates Rise 2.5pc

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South Burnett Regional Council ... from left, Cr Ros Heit, Mayor Keith Campbell, Cr Gavin Jones, Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, Cr Danita Potter, Cr Roz Frohloff and Cr Terry Fleischfresser

June 26, 2017

South Burnett ratepayers will face an average 2.5 per cent rate rise after the South Burnett Regional Council handed down its 2017-18 Budget on Monday morning.

The rise is identical to the 2.5 per cent rate rise handed down last year, which was the lowest increase since the 2008 council amalgamations.

It marks the fourth year in a row the Council has handed down a near-CPI rate rise.

As expected, the $200-a-year Road Levy will stay in place.

But it will not be indexed, which means the real cost of the levy to ratepayers has now declined by about 8 per cent since it was introduced in the 2013-14 Budget.

Water, sewerage and waste collection charges will also rise by 2.5 per cent, but there will be no change to water consumption charges.

The Environmental levy will increase by $1 to $29 per year; the Waste Management Levy will rise $3 to $128 per year; and domestic garbage collection charges will increase by $4 to $157 per year.

However, the Community Rescue Evacuation Levy will remain at $4 per year, and the Rural Fire Levy will continue to be $25 per year.

The region’s $200-a-year pensioner discount will also stay in place.

This Council rebate – along with a maximum $200 annual rebate from the State Government – should see pensioners be able to reduce their rate bills by $400 a year.

The 10 per cent discount for settlement of rates by the due date will also remain.

Mayor Keith Campbell said the net effect on an average residential rate bill of $2800 pa is that rates will rise by around $70 per year, or $1.40 per week.

The low rate rise has been made possible by efficiencies found within the Council’s operations, which include a reduction of between 10 and 13 administrative staff positions over the coming year.

The Council anticipates finishing the current financial year with a $1 million surplus, slightly better than the $789,000 surplus it forecast 12 months ago.

A comparison of an average South Burnett 2016-17 residential rates bill with a 2017-18 one ... this comparison does not include water usage charges

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Budget Highlights

  • Roads will remain a key priority, especially rural roads. $24.58m will be spent on the design, maintenance and renewal of the road network, including $3.3m for gravel maintenance, $4.1m on pavement rehabilitation and widening and $2.7m on reseals.
  • Community Assistance Grants will continue in a new format, with $246,500 being allocated
    across the various categories
  • The $200 rebate off rates for all eligible pensioners has been maintained; combined with the State Government rebate, pensioners will receive $400 off their rate bill
  • Approximately $12m has been allocated towards the operations and maintenance of the region’s water and waste water networks, including $5.12m towards renewals or upgrades to the network
  • The development of a Sport and Recreation Plan in conjunction with North Burnett Regional Council and Cherbourg Aboriginal Council, using $100,000 in funding by the Department of Sport and Recreation, with the remaining $30,000 being funded by the Councils
  • $2.58m for the maintenance of Council’s building infrastructure and $3m for parks maintenance
  • Planning will commence this year on developing concepts, undertaking community consultation and some design work for the revitalisation of Kingaroy CBD
  • The South Burnett Rail Trail’s official opening will be held in conjunction with South Burnett and Cherbourg On Show weekend in October
  • A new Strategic Plan is being developed for economic development in the region
  • Development of a new Corporate Plan during 2017-18


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