Where are your rates being spent?
  • Friday 06 September 2013

Sunshine Coast Council recently presented its Quarterly Progress Report demonstrating where ratepayers’ money has been spent over the last quarter of 2012/13.

Corporate Planning Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said council had accomplished a number of important achievements in the fourth quarter.

“The quarterly report presents progress with implementing the Operational Plan 2012/2013 and Corporate Plan 2009-2014,” Cr Dickson said.

“The report has been prepared to inform council and the community on the implementation of the activities, projects and programs set out in the annual operational plan and associated corporate plan.

“This progress report presents to council details on the delivery of the operational plan and corporate plan.

“Council has performed very well by achieving 94% (155/165) of the activities scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2013.”

Cr Dickson said while council was achieving so much across the Sunshine Coast region in many different areas, not enough credit was being taken for it.

“Residents often don’t know the benefits of their ratepayer dollars and we need to raise the community’s understanding of the great work council is doing,” Cr Dickson said.

“Sunshine Coast Council’s work is extensive and varied. And it’s time we boast more not only about our large million dollar achievements but also the smaller every day success stories our staff are responsible for.

“We should be proud of the work we are doing – congratulations should go to our council officers and also to my fellow councillors.”

For more information about council’s achievements - past present and planned for the future, visit council’s website or see a selection of highlights for the fourth quarter ended 30 June 2013 below.

A selection of highlights for the fourth quarter ended 30 June 2013 include:

Regional Strategy and Planning

  • Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme (draft) - continued to consider submissions.
  • Development applications - launched electronic lodgement process.
  • The annual ‘Green June’ Program was well attended by business, industry and the community allowing council to educate thousands of people on environmental issues.
  • The master planning for the Maroochydore ‘Central Precinct’ is continuing to progress with the appointment of a consultancy to aid the detailed design planning.
  • Continued monitoring and tracking of council’s carbon emissions has resulted in funding being secured for installation of efficient heat pumps in council’s holiday parks and sports facilities.
  • The Sunshine Coast Airport is a step closer to recognition for measures taken towards carbon neutrality, with a submission made to the International Airport Carbon Accreditation Program for rating.
  • E-lodgement for private building certifiers has realised 63% of business being received electronically since commencing this quarter.
  • Early advice and education opportunities provided at free pre lodgement meetings and a number of developers making the most of the opportunity.
  • A total of 65 plan sealing applications (26% increase), have been approved this quarter with 333 residential/commercial lots being created.
  • Flood modelling for the Hazard Mapping project has been received with GIS analysis scheduled to complete the Hazard Information.
  • Stormwater Master Drainage planning continues with overland flow paths reviewed and the network analysed as per the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (QFCI).
  • 222 Operational Works applications were lodged this quarter with over 90% now meeting the key performance indicator timeframe.

Finance and Business

  • Budget 2013/2014 adopted by Council ($538 million consisting of a $109 million Capital Works Program).
  • Sunshine Coast Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 - approved the draft strategy for public consultation.
  • The Local Business Support program provided targeted education and information services and access to specialist professional advisors. More than 90 one-on-one business support engagements were performed and program support officers presented at 22 business events in the Sunshine Coast region.
  • Tigerair and Air New Zealand have increased their flights to Sunshine Coast Airport.
  • Agreement was reached with Economic Development Queensland on the model for progressing the planning and development of the Maroochydore Central Precinct.
  • The Sunshine Coast Airport Capital Program saw work near completion on the Airport Management Centre project, and pavement and drainage works and upgrades to taxiways as part of the Sunshine Coast Airport Precinct project.
  • Redevelopment works for international operations as part of the Airport Terminal Precinct Master Plan were completed.
  • Council’s $773,000 funding application in partnership with Tennis Australia, Tennis Queensland, and the Caloundra Tennis Club to develop a major regional tennis centre was successful.
  • Council won the for the Australian Government 2013 Excellence in eGovernment Award for Online Software Applications Development.

Community Services

  • Commercial Use of Community Land - completed the next phase of project.
  • Floating Land Exhibition – major cultural event held.
  • 300 new Australian citizens welcomed at our three formal citizenship ceremonies.
  • Our galleries hosted a range of exhibitions attracting almost 22,000 people.
  • 4000 people attended the 150 community related seminars at our libraries.
  • Customer satisfaction continues to remain at an all-time high. Call Centre staff recorded a satisfaction score of 4.69 out of a possible 5.
  • Council continued its commitment to creating a safe and healthy work environment with random drug and alcohol testing of staff.
  • Handled 42,000 customer centre phone calls (89% of which were responded to within 60 seconds).
  • Our performing arts venues played host to a variety of local and international performances this quarter. More than 1261 events attracted over 82,600 people.
  • High profile events including several sell-out performances of the acclaimed Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow called our venues home.
  • Finalists for the 2013 Sunshine Coast Arts Prize were selected in May. The 40 finalists (15 from the Sunshine Coast) were chosen for both the 2D and 3D categories.
  • Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) provided $97,421 to 18 applications. RADF is a highly successful state and local government partnership that supports professional and emerging artists living on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Council successfully applied for a $145,000 Federal Government grant this quarter to improve safety at two taxi ranks in Nambour and Maroochydore.
  • Received a Federal Government grant to build a regional tennis centre at Caloundra.
  • Replaced pool filters at the Nambour Aquatic Centre.
  • A revamp of the Nambour Civic Centre to include a new tiered seating and an upgrade to both the theatrical fly system and the cinema screen for the performance venue. The capacity for the performance hall has increased from 720 to 810 seats.
  • The opening of the Kawana Forest Meeting Place which provides an exceptional multi-function space for locals to meet and socialise in a range of community activities.
  • Council successfully secured an $82,500 grant for the wild dog control program to be delivered in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Infrastructure Services

  • Capital Works – significant projects completed include Noosa Landfill Cell, Doonan ($4.7 million); upgrade at Tripcony Lane, Caloundra ($275,000); and Dicky Beach. carpark ($200,000).
  • The first offset agreement for vegetation rehabilitation and preservation of $797,000 with Energex was finalised.
  • A significant amount of effort undertaken to deliver the stormwater program including unexpected and urgent work arising out of earlier flood events. A number of these projects have already been completed.
  • Work continued progressing on the Maroochy – Alexandra Headland Sand Renourishment Project. This includes mobilisation of the dredge to site and commencement of sand being pumped 1/2km to the front of the Maroochy Surf Life Saving Club. Once complete, the renourished beach will help provide the dunes with additional resilience against coastal erosion.
  • The deployment of mobile technology to the field staff has continued progressing. This undeniably transforms our workplace and enhances our business. Staff can now be connected into the organisation and our systems, anywhere, anytime.

A number of waste minimisation activities continued progressing including the completion of three highly successful eWaste collection programs coinciding with the changeover from analogue to digital TV.