Budget shapes a strong community
  • Thursday 20 June 2019
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Supporting inclusive and vibrant communities, valuing our natural assets and embracing opportunities emerging in our smart economy are the cornerstones of Sunshine Coast Council’s $848 million budget for 2019/20.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Council Budget, handed down today, is the eighth consecutive budget which has delivered an operating surplus ($29.6 million in 2018/19), enabling council to build on the strong foundations laid over the past seven years.

“Our communities are our future and this budget focuses on their needs – today, next year and well into the future,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Once again, our council has delivered a budget which invests in and builds on what is most important –– our communities, our environment and natural assets and our economy.

“These attributes are also at the core of why so many of us choose to live here.”

Some of the highlights of council’s $848 million budget include:

  • $225 million for roads and transport infrastructure and services, cycleways and pathways, stormwater assets and public lighting

  • $85 million for managing, maintaining and upgrading our parks and gardens, sporting venues, recreation parks, trails and facilities

  • $119 million for the operations and improvements to our community including venues, disaster management services, libraries, cemeteries and public health services

  • $174 million for our environment programs and services, including management, maintenance and enhancement of our beaches, foreshores, coastal infrastructure and canals; bushland conservation and habitat; and improving the health of our rivers, streams, estuaries and water bodies

  • $162 million for economic initiatives – which includes developing the new runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport; delivering the International Broadband Submarine Cable network; continuing the Maroochydore city centre development; a range of local business support and investment attraction services; and continuing support to attract and host major events.

“From library services and local venues to sporting fields, parks and gardens, coastal restoration and rehabilitation and continuing to expand our conservation estate, our budget focuses on delivering for communities right across our region,” Mayor Jamieson said. 

“For a start, Council has allocated $85 million to ensure our 1403 hectares of parks and gardens, sporting venues and recreation parks, trails and facilities across the Sunshine Coast are well maintained, accessible and can be enjoyed by everyone.

“Our parks and reserves network is highly valued by our residents and contributes to the Sunshine Coast’s unique character, lifestyle and rich biodiversity.

“This network provides the ‘green frame’ of the region’s urban areas, edging our rivers, beaches and foreshores, lining our streets and identifying our communities. It also makes the region an attractive place to visit and provides opportunities for our residents to get active.

“Our region’s sporting clubs also play a key role in promoting healthy, active lifestyles and bringing people together, which is why Council has allocated $6.9 million to renew and upgrade some of our sporting facilities.

“This includes $1.9 million to finalise upgrades to AFL and netball facilities at the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex and $2.1 million to finalise stage two of the regional tennis centre at Caloundra.”

Council will also contribute $3.4 million towards community grants, sports field maintenance, community partnerships and other programs in recognition of the value of its partnerships with community organisations and what they contribute to our region.

“Libraries across the region will continue to be supported as great community spaces to meet, learn and play, with Council allocating $14 million to support the activities delivered through these vital community assets,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our Libraries offer so much more than a place to borrow a book, with our residents able to enjoy WiFi, workshops, talks, holiday activities, preservation stations, technology sessions and the online 24/7 eLibrary - which is all provided free of charge.”

Mayor Jamieson said council had maintained its focus on providing core council services and investing in local infrastructure which supported communities on a daily basis, while continuing to invest in region-shaping projects which would provide opportunities, employment and better access to services for residents into the future.

“Projects such as the International Broadband Submarine Cable network and the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion ensure our economy and our community are well-placed to respond to the rapidly evolving demands of the 21st century and enable our region to succeed in the global environment,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Council will continue to deliver the Airport expansion project which is on schedule to be completed in 2020, with $105 million allocated in 2019/20 as part of the total project delivery budget.

“This project will deliver enormous benefits to the Sunshine Coast, contributing $4.1 billion to the local economy over the period to 2040 and generating around 2230 local jobs.

“Council has also allocated $14.4 million as part of its $20 million contribution to deliver the International Broadband Submarine Cable network, which is scheduled to be in service by mid-2020.”

The $35 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable project is a jointly funded initiative between Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

“The Sunshine Coast cable network will provide the fastest international data and telecommunications transmissions from the east coast of Australia to Asia and the second fastest to the United States,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The project is forecast to deliver up to 864 new jobs and stimulate $927 million in new investment in Queensland.

“Council will also allocate $16.6 million towards its long-term, 20-year city building initiative in Maroochydore.

“This will facilitate the delivery of further public infrastructure within the city centre, such as road and service networks and other elements of the public realm.”

Council will also continue with a range of initiatives to support community vitality and economic activity in local areas, including investing $763,000 in 2019/20 in the Nambour Heritage Tramway Project; $2 million in the Landsborough Placemaking Master Plan Project and $1 million to improve the Beerwah Aquatic Centre.

General rates for the majority of Sunshine Coast ratepayers will increase by $36.20 to $1243.20, while the cost to collect a standard 240 litre wheelie bin will increase by $8.60 to $298.60.

The Environment, Heritage and Transport levies will rise by a combined total of $3.50 which, when added to the increase to general rates and wheelie bin collection services, results in a total increase of 2.97% for most households. 

The combined increase equates to 93 cents per week, or $48.30 per year.

Pensioners will also continue to receive the pensioner rebate which equates to a value of $3.7 million this year.

Total Environment Levy contributions will increase to $10.9 million this year.

“Our environment and conservation program is the envy of other local governments and we are investing far more in this important area of responsibility than other councils,” Mayor Jamieson said

“This year our investment includes $1.34 million to rehabilitate our coastal dunes, manage shoreline erosion, educate our community and begin gathering the baseline data needed for a coastal health monitoring and reporting framework.

“An $824,000 allocation will fund partnerships and grants for not-for-profit community environmental groups and landholders and a further $545,000 will support Land for Wildlife incentives and the Voluntary Conservation Agreement program which assists landholders with their conservation efforts.” 

The Transport Levy will raise $6.2 million this year and continue to be directed towards planning for an integrated transport solution for our region, including partnering with the State Government to deliver a detailed business case which will include pricing options for Light Rail.

The Transport Levy also supports valuable council-run services like Council Link, the Flexilink trials and the Kenilworth Community Transport Service.

Mayor Jamieson said council would continue upgrading bus stops to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act requirements and invest in travel behaviour change programs.

“While the public transport network is the responsibility of the State Government, our council is forging ahead with planning potential solutions so our community can access the transport services the region needs, given the population growth we are experiencing now and will continue to experience into the future,” he said.

The Heritage Levy will raise $1.8 million to go towards projects across four themes – knowledge, conservation, support and communication.

“Council will research regional stories, conserve the region’s heritage assets, including our State Heritage-listed Bankfoot House and its collection and support the region’s community museums and historical societies through grants, professional development, workshops, community programs, collaborative marketing and events,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our cultural heritage projects developed in collaboration with Kabi Kabi, Jinibara and Descendants of Australian South Sea Islander peoples will also be supported.”

Mayor Jamieson said the council budget was in an excellent financial position, enabling council to deliver a wide breadth of services to the community as well as invest in region-shaping projects which would provide opportunities for the community today and well into the future.

“After all, that is what a healthy, smart, creative region does.”

BUDGET PROJECTS

$320 million capital works program includes:

  • $97 million on transport and stormwater projects
  • $26 million on community, sporting and other public facilities
  • $17 million on parks, gardens and public amenities
  • $21 million on waste management
  • $5 million on holiday parks and the Caloundra Aerodrome
  • $105 million on Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion
  • $14.4 million on Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network
  • $16.6 million on Maroochydore City Centre.

Annual Rates

2018/19

2019/20

Variation

General Rates

1207.00

1243.20

36.20

240 litre Wheelie bin

290.00

298.60

8.60

Sub Total

1497.00

1541.80

44.80

Environment Levy

74.00

76.00

2.00

Transport Levy

43.00

44.00

1.00

Heritage Levy

12.50

13.00

0.50

Sub Total including levies

1626.50

1674.80

48.30

Less Pay on Time Discount (General Rate Only)

60.35

62.16

1.81

TOTAL

1566.15

1612.64

46.49