Fraser Coast Regional Council’s 2021/22 budget is centred around “planning and building for our future”, Mayor George Seymour said today.
Cr Seymour said Council was forecasting a total budget of $387 million in 2021/22 with $154 million for capital works projects to stimulate the local economy and provide resilient regional infrastructure.
“As more people realise the Fraser Coast is one of the best places in the world to live, work and play, our region is experiencing a property and construction boom unlike anything that has been seen in decades,” he said.
“That’s evident in the number of development applications Council has received, which have risen from 636 in 2018 to 920 in 2020, with 443 already lodged to date this year.
“With this year’s budget, Council is planning and building for our future.
“We’re delivering new and improved roads and footpaths, upgrading our water and sewerage treatment plants, and investing in our parks, pools and playgrounds.
“We’ve also started work on a new planning scheme that will shape the way our neighbourhoods look and feel in the years ahead.
“It’s all about ensuring we can continue to provide the quality services and facilities our community needs now and into the future. It’s about building better communities together.”
Key highlights of Council’s 2021/22 capital works budget include:
- $48.8 million for roads, bridges and drainage;
- $37.1 million for water, waste and sewerage;
- $16 million for major projects such as the Hervey Bay city centre revitalisation and the development of the Maryborough Moonaboola Industrial Estate;
- $7.9 million for parks, pools and playgrounds;
- $4.1 million for arts and cultural venues; and
- $3.6 million for footpaths and bikeways.
Cr Seymour said after no rates revenue increases for the past three years, Council would be increasing rates in 2021/22 by around 3.5 per cent.
“For more than 80 per cent of ratepayers, the increase to the bottom line of their bill will be less than $2 a week or less,” he said.
“Council will be continuing to support our local community groups and those in need through our grants programs, and pensioner and other concessions, which are valued at about $4.4 million.”
Cr Seymour said Council was forecasting a $4.8 million deficit in 2021/22 and a total budget of $387 million.
“Council worked hard in the 2020/21 financial year to do more with less and turned around a projected $6.7 million deficit to instead deliver an anticipated $1.6 million surplus,” he said.
“We’ll continue to do what we can to minimise the financial impact on our residents.
“We also recognise that infrastructure we are delivering, such as new and upgraded water and sewage treatment plants, benefit both current and future generations. That’s why Council is looking to spread the financial cost through both current charges and borrowings in coming years.”
Individual project highlights in the 2021/22 Council budget include:
- $8.1 million to continue upgrades at the Aubinville Sewage Treatment Plant;
- $8 million to start work on the Boundary Road extension in Hervey Bay;
- $6 million to redevelop the Scarness Caravan Park;
- $5.2 million to upgrade the Maryborough Showgrounds and Equestrian Park; and
- $3.5 million to upgrade the Saltwater Creek Road landfill in Maryborough.
“As we plan and build for our future, Fraser Coast residents will see changes that improve their local communities now and into the future as a result of the initiatives in this budget,” Cr Seymour said.
“While there are multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, there are also smaller works that make a big difference such as $1m to seal Abbott and Neerdie Roads in Glenwood, $114,437 to refurbish the Howard Library and $60,000 to upgrade trails at Poona, to name just a few.
“We thank both the Australian and Queensland Governments for their continued support as many of the capital works projects in this year’s budget would not be able to go ahead without their collaboration.”
More information about the Fraser Coast Regional Council budget is available on Council’s website.
Press release issued by Fraser Coast Regional Council, 16 June 2021.