June 14, 2023
Toowoomba region households will face an average increase of $81 a year in Council rates and charges after Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) handed down its 2022-23 Budget on Monday.
The Budget includes a 2.5 per cent rise in general rates for urban residents, the same as the past three years.
However most households will experience a net increase of 2.35 per cent – about $1.56 per week – after discount.
This will cover all routine outgoings, including water and wastewater charges.
In return, the Council will spend $360 million on service delivery during the coming year and $159 million on capital works.
The Budget forecasts an operating deficit of $5.8 million for 2022-23, compared with a $783,168 surplus in 2021-22.
This deficit is largely due to cuts to TRC’s federally funded Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), which Council is contesting.
The Queensland Treasury Corporation has maintained the Council’s credit rating as sound with a neutral outlook.
In his Budget speech, Mayor Paul Antonio noted recent flooding events had affected Council’s plans.
“We are working to complete emergency road repairs as quickly as possible in the wake of the four declared flood events in the past six months,” Mayor Antonio said.
The estimated repair bill for flood damage to TRC’s roads and infrastructure could run as high as $100 million.
Full restoration works are expected to take at least two years to complete.
Major areas of capital expenditure in TRC’s 2022-23 Budget include:
- $50.73 million for roads, bridges, footpaths, bikeways, drainage and aerodrome projects
- $46.66 million for water projects
- $6.28 million for wastewater projects
- $11.7 million for waste services
- $14.41 million for parks and recreation projects
- $11.4 million for community services and facilities
- $2.3 million for Information, Communication and Technology
- Flood damage restoration will be the major focus of the Infrastructure Services Group
- $50.73 million for capital infrastructure projects across the Region
- $2 million to upgrade unsealed Nuuku Road at Crows Nest (link to Blackbutt)
- $1.25 million black spot project to upgrade Margaret and Mackenzie Street intersection
- $2.3 million to renew, upgrade and construct footpaths and bus stops, including in many regional towns
- $1 million to continue the CBD Smart Parking Project
- $590,000 to upgrade elements of the Region’s cycleway network
Water and Waste
- $21.5 million for the next stage of the Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant Upgrade
- $8 million to start safety upgrades at Cressbrook and Cooby Dams for flood resilience
- $3.5 million for new trunk water mains in the Highfields and Meringandan areas to cater for future growth
- $1.5 million for the design and construction of Clifton Wastewater Treatment Plant
- $11.7 million invested in capital projects for Waste
- $3 million to upgrade the Greenmount Waste Management Facility
- $2.5 million for the design of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to further the Region’s sustainability goals
Environment and Community Services
- $3.17 million for Rockville Park Clubhouse amenities replacement
- $5.81 million for Millmerran pool upgrade
- $865,000 for Oakey Showgrounds pavilion and toilets replacement
- $1.713 million for Emmerson Park upgrades in Centenary Heights
- $1.567 million for Toowoomba Escarpment Parks Upgrade
- $1.315 million for completion of the new Highfields Library