Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council CEO Chatur Zala explains the finer points of the 2022-23 Budget to Councillors and senior managers on Wednesday (Photo: CASC)

June 15, 2022

Six new houses, major upgrades to other houses and building a footpath from Cherbourg to Murgon are some of the highlights of Cherbourg’s 2022-23 Budget.

Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council CEO Chatur Zala said the Budget, formally adopted at the Cherbourg Council Chambers on Wednesday, had been driven by the community and was firmly focussed on community needs.

The main focus of the $21.9 million Budget is on infrastructure projects and finding ways to ensure Council’s service levels are maintained into the future.

In the coming year, Council will spend $3.5m on building six new houses, $1.74m on major upgrades to existing houses and $1.55m on routine housing maintenance.

It will also invest $2.36m on a concrete footpath connecting Cherbourg to Murgon; slightly more than $1m on the town’s solid waste facility; and $229,000 on the artificial intelligence technology project at the Materials Recovery Facility.

Community services such as Cherbourg Radio, the Indigenous Youth Culture Connection Program, the Community Support Grants Program and sporting and recreation programs will be funded from $1.034m in grants from State and Federal governments.

Council will also spend $1.63m on essential services such as water supply, sewerage and parks and gardens to ensure Cherbourg residents receive a service level equal to that of any other town in Queensland.

Councillors will receive a 2 per cent pay rise and Council staff 3 per cent.

But in a measure designed to help meet rising cost-of-living pressures, rents have been frozen. Cherbourg residents will pay the same rent during the next 12 months as they did during the past year.

CEO Zala admitted rents would inevitably rise in future but said Council would give residents at least six months advance notice to minimise any hardship this might cause.

In 2022-23, Council expects to receive $1.44m from its Materials Recycling Facility and Containers For Change, $400,000 from the joinery, $200,000 from its newly established call centre and $50,000 from its cattle and produce farm.

These Council-owned enterprises are also generating more local jobs, with the Council’s workforce expanding from 80 employees to 130 during the past year.

The Council will also receive $1.18m from community housing rental income, and $785,000 from service charges.

The CEO said Council would continue to manage its operations within tight constraints but hailed the Budget as a “community-driven” victory.

“Thanks to Council’s commitment to thorough financial planning, Cherbourg’s community will see a range of improvements in the years to come,” CEO Zala said.


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