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Budget Papers 2015/16
|Integrating Global Best Practice|
It is with pleasure that I introduce Maranoa Regional Council’s Budget for the 2015/16 financial year.
The budget papers that are being presented provide the most comprehensive document produced by this Council, providing the community with a unique insight into the planned works and services that will be delivered by Council, and how they will be funded.
Coming in at a total of $169.4 million, and with a capital budget of $68.6 million, this Budget is set to deliver on a variety of projects that will maintain, renew and improve assets across the region.
This year, Council is increasing its residential general rates (both the minimum and cents in the dollar rate) and service charges by 3%. This will mean an average increase, after taking into account the new property valuations, of $1.34 per week.
Investing in our roads, continuing to strengthen our finances, and strong accountability across the organisation have been determined as key themes for this year’s services and projects and therefore the Council’s Budget.
These are priorities reflective of the feedback from a recent customer survey conducted for Council by an independent research organisation. The sample of the community surveyed identified these three areas amongst the top priorities for Council.
Roads feature as a big winner in this year’s Budget with a $22 million Council program dedicated to our road network. This includes $11.6 million for road maintenance, and $10.4 million for road construction.
Essential services are also a priority in this Budget, with $2.01 million to be spent on water infrastructure. A significant expenditure for this area will be for Injune, with the town to receive a ground reservoir and pressure system for $1.008 million – a project that will greatly improve the town’s water reliability and pressure.
Sewerage infrastructure will also be receiving attention with $1.73 million allocated for maintenance and upgrade works, as well as waste initiatives for which there is $108,000 allocated in the Budget.
Other areas of focus for the year will be our facilities, with $455,000 set aside for upgrades and refurbishments, as well as $203,000 for town development projects.
From an organisational perspective, improving efficiencies across the board will be a priority, continuing the work commenced over the last two years. Every part of Council is working towards best practice in all of our operations, with some bold new targets set for ourselves to reduce operating costs. By reviewing every dollar spent at Council, the entire organisation will continue to make savings.
With another packed year ahead for us all here at Council, I look forward to the work and challenges that lie ahead, as we aim to provide our Maranoa residents with the best services and infrastructure possible, in an affordable way.
Cr Robert Loughnan
Maranoa Regional Council