- Saturday 28 June 2014
Sunshine Coast Council has adopted a budget that capitalises on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to take the region in a new direction.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the $509 million budget was about building confidence for a stronger community.
“This budget includes a Capital Works Program worth $114 million which means better roads and bridges, parks and sporting facilities,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It is a budget which continually looks forward. It captures where we want to go and shows how we will get there.
“It’s a budget which takes us significant strides closer to achieving our vision to become the most sustainable region in Australia with a sustainable economy, a sustainable environment and a sustainable community.
“Council recognises that our residents are still doing it tough and we have done everything we can to keep rates as low as possible.
“We have achieved a $12 million reduction in staff costs and a $10 million reduction in other costs.
“Those savings provide a surplus which will now be used to invest in infrastructure.
“This has been achieved with no reduction in services.
“Council has continued to invest in our community with more than $6 million available for community partnership grants and sports field maintenance programs and cultural programs.
“More than $20 million will be invested directly into programs, initiatives and works that will help strengthen the Sunshine Coast economy.
“This includes assisting local businesses to grow or explore new opportunities, and investing in some of the region’s once-in-a-lifetime, game-changing opportunities such as Maroochydore City Centre priority development area.”
Mayor Jamieson said rates would rise by 5%, with the majority of ratepayers incurring a rise of 98 cents per week on their minimum general rates.
Waste collection charges will increase by 7.5%, or about 35 cents a week for a 240 litre bin.
“We are keeping the early bird and pensioner discounts and the transport, environment and heritage levies remain the same,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The Tourism and Major Events Levy has risen by 10% and will affect 10% of ratepayers.
“But it should be noted that comes after no change for four years – and a dollar then is only worth less than 90 cents now.”
Deputy Mayor and Finance Portfolio Councillor Chris Thompson said the budget was an investment in the region’s future, led by projects such as the Maroochydore City Centre and the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion.
“Each of these projects is a game-changer in its own way but collectively, they are increasing Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a place where great things are happening,” Cr Thompson said.
“With sound financial management, this council is ready to step up and show we have what it takes to compete for the title of Australia’s most sustainable region.”
Highlights of the 2014/15 budget include:
- $114 million Capital Works Program
- More than $20 million for economic development
- $23 million for the environment
- $36 million to maintain parks and gardens
- $15 million for libraries and galleries
- $6 million for events and grants
Major projects in 2014/15 financial year:
- $16.2 million for Maroochydore City Centre
- $13.2 million for road reseal program at various locations
- $6.7 million for Evans St, Maroochydore four-laning
- $4.8 million for road pavement rehabilitation at various locations
- $4.7 million for Caloundra landfill new cells and leachate disposal
- $2.8 million for Alexandra Headland Streetscape
- $2.3 million for Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba cycleway, roadway and associated works including streetscapes
- $2.2 million for Nambour Resource Recovery Centre
- $2 million for Sippy Downs Dr, Sippy Downs
- $1.9 million for Image Flat Quarry machinery replacement
- $1.1 million for Eudlo School Rd bridge replacement
- $1.1 million for Sports Rd, Bli Bli gravel road network
- $1 million for Ninderry Rd, Ninderry stormwater management
- $1 million for Bulcock St, Caloundra streetscaping works
- $1 million for Maleny Community Precinct
- $1 million for Delicia Rd, Mapleton sealing of gravel road
- $950,000 for Caloundra Regional Tennis Centre