South Burnett Regional Council is deferring capital works in the face of a $3.38 million operational deficit

April 23, 2024

South Burnett Regional Council plans to defer almost $4.5 million of capital works, but it is not just to save money.

The figure is included in 3rd Quarter Budget Review figures to be presented by Council staff to Wednesday’s General Meeting, the first for the newly elected Council.

The reduction will bring Council’s 2023-24 capital works program to just over $37.5 million.

Mayor Kathy Duff told the deferral of several capital works projects was necessary because Council was unable to secure the necessary labour and materials to carry them out.

The deferral will delay – but not cancel – these projects, which will be completed once the necessary resources become available.

The 3rd Quarter Review also reveals that Council’s Operational Budget deficit is now projected to be about $3.382 million, despite a small improvement of $184,645.

The original projected Budget deficit was $3.489 million.

It has come after four years of below-CPI increases in the Council’s general rate: a nil increase in 2020, a 1 per cent rise in 2021, 1.7 per cent in 2022 and 3.65 per cent last year.

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At Wednesday’s General Meeting, councillors will also discuss a proposal to schedule 16 workshops to put Council’s 2024-25 Budget together.

The weekly workshops will be held from April to June, each one focussing on different aspects of Council’s operations (eg. plant and fleet, water, wastewater, parks and gardens etc)

The Council will release its 2024-25 Budget at a special meeting on Wednesday, July 10.

Council’s finance officers have announced they intend to use 3 per cent as the CPI increment for materials in the 2024-2025 Budget.

This percentage is lower than the current December annual headline CPI for Brisbane (4.2 per cent) or the overall yearly CPI for Australia (4.1 per cent).

It is also lower than the Local Government Cost Index for Queensland which is higher than the consumer CPI because of the cost structures faced by councils.


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