COUNCILLOR’S COMMENT ON ISLAND BUDGET
Six years ago, the Redland City Council managed to turn a long standing operating deficit back to a surplus for a number of years.
This took a lot of work to achieve, however, the past financial year saw Council slip back into deficit due to rising costs across the board.
The Interim Financial reports for the full year (which will be audited) show an operating loss of $11.88 million.
Challenged with a substantial deficit, the budget set for this financial year correctly focuses on reducing this deficit by $11 million.
To reduce the Council’s expenditure, that will have less pressure on rating increases for the following year, a lot of “nice-to-have” projects have been deferred.
Being conscious of costs and focusing on expenditure reduction has resulted in a budget which is more conservative than those of previous years.
The islands, however.have been spared from much of the expenditure reduction with existing capital works programs to continue, plus a continued funding to green seal the islands roads.
An additional $3.1 million has been allocated to Weinam Creek in order to expand the parking across to the other side of the creek.
The road exit out from Weinam Creek will also be improved with an upgrade of Collins Street and School of Arts Road which will improve travel times for island residents travelling west.
There are also upgrades to some island parks particularly with shade cloth being installed over play equipment.
It appears to be a measured and conservative budget that will enable Council to target more projects next year.
ISLAND SEALED ROADS MAINTENANCE SURVEY
In addition to the very positive Green Seal program, Redland City Council recognises that Island roads already traditionally sealed, may be in need of maintenance.
Some were originally sealed several decades ago and council wishes to identify if there is a need for a maintenance reseal.
The roads to be resealed on the islands have not been decided at this point, but council will be undertaking survey of Island roads this year.
The survey will identify and prioritise those roads requiring maintenance seal work so that budget bids can be put forward for the sealing to be undertaken in the 2019-20 budget.
Redlands Healthy & Active program back by popular demand!
Redlands Healthy & Active is back by popular demand, with a third program of low cost activities kicking off coinciding with Term 3 of the school calendar.
Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, said: “So far more than 1300 people have participated in more than 20 different outdoor activities – with Zumba, Yoga and group fitness among the most popular.
“We’ve had wonderful feedback, with many of those who participated in the first two terms of the group physical activities calling for the program to continue.
“With the Redlands Healthy & Active program supported by state and federal grants for the first two terms, Council is now transitioning to a sustainable model; one that provides low-cost sessions to residents and makes it viable for local health and fitness professionals delivering them,” Cr Williams said.
“QSuper has come on board as a supporter so participants will only contribute a $5 co-payment to each weekly session, well below the market rate. A ten session pass (for the price of nine) will also be available for purchase at the first session or online.