THREE QUES­TIONS TO THE MAYOR

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS DOUGLAS SHIRE BUDGET 2017 -

Rate rises in other coun­cils in our area: Cairns 1.75pc, Cas­sowary Coast 2pc, Ma­reeba 2.5pc, Table­lands 4.04pc.

1. With the ex­cep­tion of the Table­lands which is 4.04 per cent other lo­cal coun­cils’ rate rises are be­low 3.9 per cent. Can you com­ment on this please?

Due to the un­der in­vest­ment within Coun­cil’s in­fra­struc­ture as­sets prior to de-amal­ga­ma­tion, Coun­cil has had to strate­gi­cally de­velop cap­i­tal works pro­grams to rec­tify this un­der in­vest­ment, par­tic­u­larly in re­gards to our water and waste­water as­sets. Since de-amal­ga­ma­tion Coun­cil has been fol­low­ing a strat­egy to achieve fi­nan­cially sus­tain­abil­ity, as per statu­tory fi­nan­cial ra­tios, in the year 2019/20. As such the de­mands on Coun­cil’s ex­pen­di­ture dif­fers from neigh­bour­ing Coun­cils and in for­mu­lat­ing the Dou­glas Bud­get, Coun­cil­lors and se­nior staff con­cen­trate on the lo­cal com­mu­nity ex­pec­ta­tions and the con­tin­ued de­liv­ery of high qual­ity ser­vices.

2. Can you re­mind us what were the pre­vi­ous rate rises since in­au­gu­ra­tion of the new DSC?

0% 2013/14 (Jan­uary 1-June 30 2014) 5.2%, 2014/15 5.2%, 2015/16 3.9%, 2016/17 3.9%, 2017/18

3. What trend should we ex­pect in our lo­cal rate rises?

The rates per­cent­age in­crease is de­ter­mined on an an­nual ba­sis as part of the bud­get devel­op­ment process and is de­pen­dent upon a num­ber of fac­tors at the time, in­clud­ing Coun­cil’s tar­get to reach fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity and a bal­anced bud­get by 2019/20.

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