RATES RIS­ING CLOSE TO 4%

Coun­cil’s 2017-18 bud­get hits our back pock­ets

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Philippe Co­querand philippe.co­querand@cnbtimes.com.au

RATES are set to in­crease by 3.9% in the North Bur­nett re­gion af­ter a unan­i­mous vote by North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The rates hike fol­lows a rise of 4.95% un­der last year’s bud­get.

This new in­crease is pro­jected to raise al­most $9.5 mil­lion for the coun­cil, with the to­tal in­crease to rev­enue ex­pected to be $690,700 for this fi­nan­cial year.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mark Pitt said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s grant in­dex­a­tion freeze af­fected the coun­cil’s over­all rev­enue.

“The con­tin­u­ing re­duc­tions in grant op­por­tu­ni­ties, par­tic­u­larly the Fed­eral Fi­nan­cial As­sis­tance Grant in­dex­a­tion freeze have af­fected coun­cil’s rev­enue po­si­tion over the past three years,” Mr Pitt said.

“It is wel­come news that this freeze has been lifted. An­other sig­nif­i­cant change is the way the State Gov­ern­ment awards road works con­tracts with more and more work pre­vi­ously com­pleted by coun­cil now be­ing con­ducted by the depart­ment.”

Mr Pitt said roads were still on the agenda for the coun­cil in the 2017-2018 bud­get.

“A con­tin­ued ma­jor area of fo­cus is on the roads, streets and drainage with an es­ti­mated $15.3 mil­lion be­ing spent in this as­set group through in­ter­nal and funded ex­ter­nal pro­grammes,” he said.

The coun­cil pro­vided a break­down of key ser­vices as out­lined in the bud­get.

LAND­FILL MAN­AGE­MENT LEVY

Tax­pay­ers will be charged an ex­tra $99 per year for the dis­posal of garbage. Un­der the 2016-17 bud­get, the coun­cil opted for all Bur­nett ratepay­ers to have garbage re­moved for free.

KERB­SIDE GARBAGE COL­LEC­TION

Waste charges have been struc­tured with ba­sic res­i­den­tial ser­vices set at $275 and com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial set at $330 per ser­vice for the re­gion.

WA­TER AND SEW­ER­AGE

The coun­cil adopted a wa­ter ac­cess charge levied at $585 and con­sump­tion charges of 1.76 per kilo­litre for the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year.

ROADS AND DRAINAGE

The road and bridge net­work con­tin­ues to be a ma­jor fo­cus of coun­cil bud­gets.

Con­sid­er­able re­sources have been al­lo­cated to the pre­vi­ous flood re­con­struc­tion works that have been car­ried out though our re­gion.

The es­ti­mated to­tal cost of this event is ap­prox­i­mately $6 mil­lion dol­lars.

PHOTO: FILE

RATES RISE: North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil CEO Mark Pitt said roads were still on the agenda in the bud­get over the next year.

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