Mayor Cham­bers calls rate rise ‘nec­es­sary’

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

THE North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil an­nounced its bud­get for the 2017/2018 fi­nan­cial year yes­ter­day and Mayor Rachel Cham­bers said the 3.9% rates rise was nec­es­sary for the re­gion.

“This year, we have de­cided on a rate in­crease of 3.9% which will in­crease our rates in­come by $347,528 than that of last year,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“Since amal­ga­ma­tion coun­cil has been ef­fec­tively spend­ing more money than it is bring­ing in, with this year be­ing no dif­fer­ent.”

“The North Bur­nett re­gion re­lies heav­ily on ex­ter­nal fund­ing as we have a very lim­ited abil­ity to gen­er­ate our own source rev­enue. Ex­ter­nal grants and sub­si­dies ac­count for 47% of our to­tal bud­get and we are grate­ful of each and ev­ery time we are no­ti­fied by the State or Com­mon­wealth of a suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion.”

Cr Cham­bers re­it­er­ated the coun­cil’s stance on fix­ing roads within the re­gion.

“We have con­tin­ued our ru­ral roads pro­gram to the tune of just over $9 mil­lion and have in­vested $1 mil­lion in streets, kerbs and foot­paths,” she said.

“Eight bridges are un­der­go­ing ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment or re­pairs to a to­tal of just over $5 mil­lion.

“With our re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence with ex Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie we have in­vested $12,000 in a Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Com­mu­nity Dash­board which will al­low us to more con­ve­niently com­mu­ni­cate road con­di­tions and clo­sures to the com­mu­nity.”

The bud­get was passed unan­i­mously by coun­cil­lors.

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

BUD­GET DE­LIV­ERED: North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Rachel Cham­bers.

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