Rates likely to rise in split
QUEENSLAND’S Moreton Bay Regional Council commissioned an independent analysis of ratepayer impacts for the de-amalgamation in March due to requests by the Redcliffe community.
The former Redcliffe City Council area from Moreton Bay Regional Council contributed 18 per cent of rates and any corresponding reduction in rates revenue due to de-amalgamation would not correspond to an equivalent reduction in operating costs, the analysis by RION Consulting Network concluded.
Ongoing councillor and staff costs were likely to be significantly higher than pre-amalgamation for the RCC due to remuneration requirements specified by the Local Government Remuneration and Disciplinary Tribunal.
The new RCC would also need to commit $46 million of a planned $105 million over six years towards an approved Redcliffe Rail Link.
The report found that due to its size, the current MBRC has increased capacity available for discretionary projects relative to the three former councils, which was particularly relevant for the former RCC as it had the smallest rates base of the three amalgamated councils.
The report found that in order to fund the estimated one-off, ongoing and projected costs outlined, the new RCC would need to impose an immediate rate increase of between 37 per cent and 56 per cent following de-amalgamation.
“Failure to do this would severely impact on the long-term financial sustainability of the NRCC,” the report stated.
“In relation to ongoing costs, amalgamating councils usually have the advantage of medium to long-term operational savings once the up-front costs have been incurred.
“However, in the case of a de-amalgamation these benefits do not exist.”