WHT YOUR RATES KEEP RIS­ING

COUN­CIL RE­LEASE 2016-17 BUD­GET RATES RISE BY 4.95% ROAD FUND­ING IN­CREASES

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Tobi Lof­tus tobi.lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

NORTH Bur­nett residents will be hit by a 4.95% rate rise in the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil’s 2016-17 bud­get, which was re­leased in Biggenden yes­ter­day.

This will equate to a $148 per an­num in­crease for home­own­ers within the towns.

The rate rise is dif­fer­ent for Mount Perry residents, due to not hav­ing a sew­er­age scheme charge.

They will in­stead face a $124.60 rise.

Mayor Rachel Cham­bers told the coun­cil in her bud­get speech that no one en­joyed in­creas­ing rates.

“The North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil does not want to add ex­tra pres­sure on an al­ready stressed com­mu­nity, how­ever, in or­der to keep mov­ing for­ward as a coun­cil we must keep try­ing to be­come sus­tain­able and thus have to ap­pease Queens­land Trea­sury with our plan mov­ing for­ward,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“Af­ter metic­u­lously con­sid­er­ing all fac­tors, we have de­cided on an across-the-board, 4.95% rate in­crease.

“To the res­i­den­tial ratepayer this means an in­crease of $2.87 per week for all towns ex­clud­ing Mt Perry, who will have a $2.42 per week in­crease.

“We have kept the full 10% early pay­ment dis­count.”

There are 6255 rate­able lots of land in the North Bur­nett, so the rise will raise the coun­cil an ex­tra $995,682, bring­ing to­tal rev­enue over the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year to $9,223,127.

The coun­cil has sev­eral ini­tia­tives to soften the rate rise.

North Bur­nett residents will now be able to dis­pose of house­hold waste at all tips in the North Bur­nett for free.

“Ef­fi­cien­cies will be gained through a new busi­ness sys­tem and web­site that NBRC has in­vested in, which will en­able ratepay­ers to con­duct busi­ness with coun­cil in a more stream­lined man­ner in the fu­ture,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“This will in­clude the abil­ity to pay bills on­line, com­mu­ni­cate with coun­cil elec­tron­i­cally to ad­dress a range of is­sues, and search for in­for­ma­tion such as when your road will be graded.

Coun­cil has also al­lo­cated $1,313,250 to keep the towns tidy and to main­tain ameni­ties and parks.

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

COUN­CIL BUD­GET: North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Rachel Cham­bers handed down her first bud­get in Biggenden on Wed­nes­day.

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