- Thursday 23 June 2022
Services and sustainability are at the heart of Sunshine Coast Council’s $847 million 2022-23 adopted budget.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said a decade of prudent fiscal management and some of the most proactive planning for the future ever delivered by a local government, had provided the foundations for a budget focused squarely on delivering a stronger, better and sustainable region.
“Despite the challenges our region has faced over the last few years, our council is forecast to achieve a strong $31.8 million operating result this year,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This enables us to re-double our efforts to provide the services our community requires as well as continue to invest in the infrastructure and facilities that enhance the liveability and prosperity of one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”
Mayor Jamieson said $273 million would be invested in job-creating local infrastructure projects which provided both economic opportunities for local businesses, and improved access to services and facilities for our communities across the Sunshine Coast.
The budget will also deliver a helping hand to pensioners, with all eligible pensioners benefiting from a 3.5 per cent increase in their pensioner rate concession.
Sole homeowners on full pensions will receive a $271 concession, which is an increase of $9.
Those on part pensions will also benefit, with their concession increasing to between $77 and $212, depending on whether they own the property solely or jointly.
Mayor Jamieson said council understood property owners were concerned about the impacts on their rates as a result of the State Government’s recent increases in property valuations.
“While council is required, by law, to use the State Government’s valuation figures to calculate the general rate, we have made adjustments to our rating categories to mitigate the full impact of the valuation increase.
“We know that the State Government valuation increases have ranged from 9.5 to 80.7 per cent, however with what council has done in this budget, the rate increase will generally not be anywhere near those percentages.
“The majority of the principal place of residence properties – around 60 per cent of all residential properties – will see a 5 per cent or $63.50 increase in their general rate.
“When taking into account the general waste and recycling bin collection services and the environment, transport and heritage levies, the bottom-line increase for the majority of principal place of residence properties will be 4.84 per cent.
“Furthermore, anyone experiencing financial hardship can contact council before their rates are due and arrange a payment-by-instalments agreement over a six-month period, without interest being charged.
“While all councillors have been focused on limiting the scope of the rate increase, we must also accommodate the increasing costs of delivering infrastructure and services – and particularly in a region that is growing at the rate that is occurring on the Sunshine Coast.
“At the end of the day, councillors believe our community wants its council to be strong, fiscally responsible and be able to continue to deliver the services and facilities our residents require – and this is what has shaped our decisions in this budget.
“Council is also continuing its long-standing emphasis on sustainability in all forms and is prioritising its efforts to respond to the impacts of a changing climate – the greatest global challenge our world faces right now.
“We cannot do this alone however, and our community is an integral part of our responsiveness,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The single biggest change we can make is stopping green waste going into our landfills to reduce greenhouse emissions.
“That’s why all eligible households have now been included in the garden organics green bin initiative and, from July, will be playing their part in making the Sunshine Coast Australia’s most sustainable region: healthy, smart, creative.
“Residents who have already committed to doing their bit by using a garden organics green bin will save $27 on their collection service fee, which has been reduced from $62 to $35.
“Council is rewarding our residents who are already doing their bit for our environment by using a garden organics green bin.
“They’ve been the early adopters, the disciples of change. They’ve been well and truly doing their bit to support the sustainability of our region and should be commended and rewarded for their efforts.
“This budget also allocates $18 million towards the Nambour Materials Recovery Facility which will sort mixed recyclable waste collected from household and business yellow-lid bins, diverting it from landfill.
“Another $9.9 million will be invested in the Nambour Resource Recovery Centre and council will continue to invest in many worthy projects through the Environment Levy program.”
Council’s Environment Levy, paid by all ratepayers, will remain at $80, raising $12.2 million to protect and enhance our valued natural environment, including our native plants and animals, waterways and wetlands and coastal environments.
The Environment Levy will also continue to support the expansion and management of council’s conservation estate for a range of habitat preservation, catchment management and coastal rehabilitation projects.
“Our council is leading the way to be a zero net emissions organisation and for the community to be low carbon by 2041,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Through our efforts over the last 10 years and those that we will undertake in the next 10 years, our council is also making a significant contribution to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games being the first carbon-positive games.”
Connecting our communities and encouraging travel behaviour change will also be front and centre of the work delivered with the proceeds of the Transport Levy, which will increase by $1 to $45.
This levy is forecast to raise $6.8 million for important community programs including the Flexilink Service in hinterland towns; Kenilworth Community Transport Service; the Council Link service for eligible persons travelling to their nearest centre.
It will also support council’s contribution to the development of the Mass Transit Project detailed business case being led by the Department of Transport and Main Roads; improving bus stops and access to them, with a focus on accessibility for seniors; RideScore Active Schools program to trial in multiple schools; and the trial MoveSafe Community Education Program.
This year, the Heritage Levy has been expanded and renamed the Arts and Heritage Levy and will increase by $3 to $16, raising $2.4 million.
The $3 increase supports the delivery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038 and will go directly towards developing and delivering projects to provide career pathways for local emerging artists.
The remainder of the levy, or the same $13 per household, will continue to be spent on achieving the outcomes of the Sunshine Coast Heritage Plan 2021–2031 including supporting new research into regional stories; conserving our region’s heritage assets including State Heritage-listed Bankfoot House and its nationally significant collection; and supporting our region’s community museums and heritage organisations through grants, practical workshops, professional development, community programs, collaborative marketing and events.
Importantly, it will also support cultural heritage projects developed in collaboration with Kabi Kabi, Jinibara and Descendants of Australian South Sea Islander peoples.
In 2022-23, funding will be available to progress the new Planning Scheme community consultation and continuing implementation of the Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041.
The focus in the year ahead will be on supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our community and continuing our highly regarded disaster management arrangements and recovery efforts from adverse weather events from earlier this year.
In line with our Community Strategy, $3.1 million will be invested in grants to community groups, including $1.4 million through the Community Grants Program to help organisations deliver projects and events, benefiting many residents across our region.
Council will also commit $911,500 to community partnerships with organisations such as coastguards, chambers of commerce, regional museums, community halls and neighbourhood centres and more than $770,000 for sports field maintenance.
Another $3.7 million will be allocated to support community events.
“Small businesses remain front-of-mind for council and this is why in this budget, we are strengthening our support of the local business sector; leveraging the Sunshine Coast International Broadband network to attract new businesses and jobs to the region; and encouraging support for our Buy Local and Study Sunshine Coast campaigns,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We will continue to promote and develop the high value industries and attract major events and tourism to the region.
“More than anything else, this budget is about local first – local communities, our local environment and local business.
“As we did throughout the course of the pandemic, we prioritised everything we did around what is important locally – and this continues to be the case in this budget.”
Council’s $847 million budget includes:
- $162 million to maintain, renew and replace roads, pathways and stormwater assets
- $60 million for libraries, galleries, community facilities and community services
- $94 million for transport, stormwater and open spaces, servicing development applications, managing property and public health and planning for sustainable growth.
- $93 million to maintain, renew and replace council's many parks, gardens and sporting facilities
- $52 million for environment programs and services, including beaches, foreshores, bushland conservation and clean energy
- $39 million for initiatives to support the resilience of our local economy and opportunities for local businesses, including major events and holiday parks
- $7 million for community events and grants
- $118 million on waste management services
2022/23 Minimum General Rate Notice
CHANGE IN RATES AND UTILITY CHARGES
Thanks to council’s extensive review of the differential rating model, we will lessen the impact of the State Government’s increased land valuations and the majority of property owners living in their home will remain on the minimum general rate of $1332.50 per annum - an increase of $63.50 per annum.
Total Rates and Charges
Minimum General Rates
240 Litre Wheelie Bin and recycling bin
Arts and Heritage Levy
Total Rates and Charges
Property owners who already use the organics green bin collection service will see a $27 reduction in the collection fee from $62 to $35. This service will be rolled out to all eligible households from July 2022.
Key local projects in council’s $273 million Capital Works Program include:
- $23.5 million to reseal and rehabilitate council’s sealed road network, including Blackall Range Road, Woombye; Dulong Road, Dulong and Elizabeth Street, Nambour
- $14.4 million to construct a seven level multi-story carpark in the Maroochydore City Centre
- $12.8 million to finalise the upgrade of Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba including the new Mayes Canal Bridge
- $800,000 to seal sections of the gravel road network on North Arm Yandina Creek Road, Yandina Creek*
- $755,000 to progress design of the Sugar and Wises Road intersection upgrade, Maroochydore
- $689,000 to progress the design works to upgrade Camp Flat Road, Bli Bli
- $650,000 to finalise design of cycle lanes along Karawatha Drive, Mountain Creek
- $520,000 to design lane upgrades at Johnston Road, Glass House Mountains
- $2.1 million to begin construction on the major streetscape upgrade of First Avenue, Maroochydore*
- $1.6 million to deliver the proposed streetscape concept within the Eumundi Town Centre*
- $972,000 to finalise placemaking and streetscape works at Blackall Street, Woombye*
- $1,150,000 to finalise stage 2 streetscape works at Cribb Street, Landsborough*
- $300,000 to continue the revitalisation design of the Nambour precinct (Currie, Howard and Mill streets).
Sport and recreation
- $2 million to construct a district level recreation park in at Forest Park West, Sippy Downs
- $1 million to upgrade the Palmwoods Warriors Football Clubhouse * and formalise off street carparking, Palmwoods
- $882,000 to upgrade the off-road carparking facility at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina*
- $800,000 to upgrade multi-sports change rooms at the North Shore Sports complex, Mudjimba*
- $650,000 to upgrade the existing foreshore walking trail at Lake Weyba, Weyba Downs**
- $600,000 to replace and renew four tennis courts at the Eumundi tennis centre**
- $450,000 to replace the recreational play equipment at Quota Memorial Park, Nambour
- $5.3 million to begin construction of the new district library and community meeting space, Caloundra
- $4.2 million to begin phase 1 construction of the Kawana Waters regional aquatic centre master plan, Bokarina
- $2.2 million to upgrade sports field lighting at various council venues including Maroochydore Junior Rugby League club, Coolum Aquatic Centre, Landsborough sports centre, North Shore Football club**, Maroochy multi sports and Cotton Tree aquatic centre
- $750,000 to progress master planning of the Nambour administration precinct which will accommodate more than 200 staff as part of council’s broader regional workplaces program
Coast, Canals and Waterways
- $1.7 million to renew the sea wall groynes at Maroochy River Cotton Tree Parade, Maroochydore
- $1.6 million to renew revetment walls throughout the region
- $250,000 to renew revetment walls in response to the Bribie Island breakthrough action plan
*Proudly funded by the Queensland Government in association with Sunshine Coast Council.
**Proudly funded by the Federal Government in association with Sunshine Coast Council.
Council’s 2022-23 budget was adopted today (June 23).
For more information and full budget details, please visit council’s website.