COUNCIL BUDGET 2017-18
All Bay Islands Get a Budget Boost
Redland City Council‘s 2017-18 budget includes substantial allocations for the Bay !slands, with nearly $4 million earmarked for road sealing alone.
Mayor Karen Williams said the Budget underscored the City’s commitment to island communities.
“From improving roads and marine transport infrastructure to upgrading community facilities such as ramps, carparks and sportsgrounds, this budget addresses island residents’ priorities,’’ Cr Williams said.
“It builds on our response to residents’ wishes for island roads to be sealed faster and for better community infrastructure, while also addressing issues of particular concern to island communities such as seawall maintenance.’’
Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said $3.4 million had been allocated to continue the Southern Moreton Bay Islands’ green seal road program.
“Another $3.26 million is set aside for work on the Macleay Island ramp carpark, with $1.27 millionvor the Russell Terrace sea wall and asbestos capping,” Cr Edwards said.
“The Karragarra Island Esplanade boat ramp renewal will account for $654,000, with a further $500,000 to be spent on the Russell Island pontoon upgrade.”
Cr Edwards said funds had also been allocated for the islands’ waiting shed and bus shelter upgrades program and disability access for Macleay Island’s Pats Park.
“With the islands boasting such vibrant and active arts communities, it is fitting that almost $30,000 has been included for art platforms on Russell, Macleay, Karragarra and Lamb islands,’’ he said.
Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell said the budget would provide a boost for North Stradbroke Island’s tourism credentials, with $672,000 allocated for the Gorge Walk Trailhead project and $300,000 set aside for the renewal of Point Lookout’s Wail Rock Stairs, among a host of other projects.
“This budget includes funding for much-needed facilities such as showers and taps at Deadmans Beach, Cylinder Headland and South Gorge, as well as upgrades at Cylinder Beach and Adder Rock,” Cr Mitchell said.
“Importantly it also addresses the needs of the local community by including $268,600 for work at Dunwich’s Ron Stark Oval, as well as funding for seawall projects at Amity Point and Dunwich.
“Funds have also been secured to seal gravel roads on the island, along with $2.7 million for sewer and wastewater treatment projects at Point Lookout.”
Division 4 Councillor Lance Hewlett said upgrades to marine transport infrastructure had been a priority for Coochiemudlo Island.
“The funds are there to renew the public amenities at the Foreshore East jetty, along with other work in the area,” Cr Hewlett said.
“All up, more than $1 million has been assigned to upgrading work on the island’s barge ramp and berthing piles, with another $70 put aside for the Shoreline Erosion Management Plan which will be undertaken on Coochie.
“Provision also has been made for work at Laurie Burns Recreational Reserve and for dinghy racks for Coochie residents.’’
Go to our website at www.redland.qld.gov.au for full Budget information
Budget Targets Key Priorities
Redland City Council has unanimously adopted a budget for 2017-18 which keeps residential rate increases to a minimum while investing heavily in the City.
Mayor Karen Williams said the budget was the first framed around the six strategic priorities agreed to by all Councillors after last year’s election.
“Under this $300 million Budget, a typical Redland household – that’s a category 1a property with a property value of about $305,257 – will see a modest increase of just 2.73 per cent for their rates and utilities,’’ Cr Williams said.
“This budget reflects what the community told us they wanted at the last election, especially investment to stimulate local business and job creation, as well as doing what’s needed to make this a better connected community.
“Last year when this Council was elected, we made a promise to govern the city with a unified approach, with the community as our guide.
“In response Councillors united to adopt six strategic priorities to deliver on the community’s wishes and, in adopting this budget, we have balanced these priorities with the need to keep costs down for our community.
“The result is a responsible plan which invests heavily in our City and builds on our strong foundations while minimising the cost impact on our residents.’’
Cr Williams said the increase to residential rates in the budget matched Council’s blended CPI index calculated as at the December 2016 quarter.
“This essentially is the increased cost to Council of running the city,’’ Cr Williams said.
Cr Williams said a major impact on Council’s costs were State Government bulk water prices, which had increased by almost a third over the last three years, including a 8.47 per cent increase this year.
“We continue to see massive bulk water price hikes, adding to the nine per cent increase last year and the 10 per cent increase the year before,” she said.
“State Government charges add 91 cents a week to our residents, taking the total increase to $2.34 for the average resident. The state’s water rise alone accounts for 77 cents of the increase at based on average 200kL consumption.”
Cr Williams said existing ratepayers would fund only a portion of Council’s total revenue increase – or headline rate – of 5.68 per cent over last year.
Cr Williams said increases in commercial rates would help drive much-needed investment and growth in the local business community.
Cr Williams said this year’s Budget would also strengthen the Redlands environmental character through the launch of the One Million Native Plants initiative.
Cr Williams said Council had allowed for a projected deficit of about $11 million for 2017-18 to ensure the rates impact on residents could be contained while still providing the services demanded.
“Thankfully years of keeping our books balanced have ensured this Council in very good financial shape.”