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2017-06-28 - Media Release - 2017 2018 Mayor's Budget Report

2017/2018 MAYOR'S BUDGET REPORT

I am pleased to present my second budget as Mayor of Banana Shire Council for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The 2017/2018 budget has been prepared based on; Council’s long-term financial forecast, asset management plans, community plans, corporate and operational plans, and budget workshops.

Banana Shire was impacted by another flood event following Ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie and will be restoring infrastructure to pre-existing standards going into the 2017/2018 financial year.

Substantial flood damage work from Cyclone Marcia has been completed.

The federal government has removed the freeze on Financial Assistance Grants which were in place for the last three years.

Council have endeavoured to keep rates at an affordable level, whilst ensuring ongoing financial sustainability. The total budgeted 2017/2018 gross rates and utility charges will increase by 2.6% when compared to the 2016/2017 gross rates and charges levied (Environment 2%, Waste Management 2%, Water 5%, Sewerage 3% and General Rates 1.8%).

The capital expenditure program for the 2017/2018 year is approximately $27 million.

Major projects include:

Moura Raw Water Mains Upgrade - $3.6 million

Callide Creek Bridge (Bridge Renewal Program) - $3.4 million

Biloela Water 9ML Reservoir Repairs - $1.2 million

Banana Baralaba Road Upgrade - $1 million

Taroom Sewerage Pump Station - $600,000

Council would like to thank the State Government for the Work for Queensland funding received in 2017, to the value of $1.73 million. Major projects funded included: $300,000 Biloela SES Building, $300,000 Pest (Weed) Management – Willows Cactus, Parkinsonia and Harrisia Cactus and $220,000 Pathways/Bikeways (Biloela and Moura) and many smaller value projects.

Work for Queensland is grant money given to Council to stimulate jobs in regional Queensland, without the requirement for Council to co-fund. It was recently announced that a further $1.71 million over two years has been granted to Council as a continuation of Work for Queensland funds; which will be received following the submission of our project list to the State Government by 28 July 2017.

This budget has a significant level of capital works: $12 million for roads and drainage, $8.2 million for water and $2.3 million for sewerage, whilst the roads maintenance budget has been increased to $5.2 million.

Council continue to provide services to the current level in a cost effective way and renew its assets in a sustainable and efficient way.

Total Community Equity as at 30 June 2018 is expected to be $726 million. Our outstanding debt as at 30 June 2018 is expected to be $9.8 million, which is a reduction of $1.4 million on the previous year’s debt.

Council continues with its commitment to bring down fair, equitable and balanced budgets, whilst maintaining long-term viability. Formulating budgets in trying economic times, where external funding is continually reducing, can be challenging. As with all budgets there is pressure to find a balance between providing a wide range of vastly different services and facilities to diverse communities throughout the Shire and to provide them fairly and equitably. I am pleased with what we have achieved in this budget.

I commend the budget to you.

Councillor Neville Ferrier

Mayor, Banana Shire Council