Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo has delivered the Budget 2020-2021 and has announced that this financial year will not see a rate increase.
“There will be no increase to Council rates and utility charges. Individual property owners may experience minor increases, or in some cases reductions to rates and utility charges compared to those paid last year.
That outcome is because of movements in their individual property valuations and not because of any overall rate increase.” Cr Jayo said.
Several initiatives have been introduced in this year’s Budget, in an effort to further assist the community. These initiatives include:
- Extending the time period for payment of rates from 30 days to 60 days;
- Introduction of a Hardship Policy in order to assist Council assess financial support for applicants on an individual basis;
- Normal charges for businesses, such as food licensing and trade waste fees, will be waived for the 2020-2021 financial year; and
- Extension of the Policy waiving General Rates for construction of new houses for a two year period.
The Operational Budget totals $36 million which includes $2,868,635 for road management services, $2,850,839 for waste management services, $1,792,031 for water services and $1,748,026 for public open spaces services.
“This year’s Budget also reflects the need to urgently address the COVID-19 situation by the promotion of works and projects that will not only maintain Council jobs, but also create short term jobs, and assist to establish industry for long term job sustainability throughout the Shire. A Capital Works Program of $23.9 million has been allocated to include $3,175,000 for Warrens Hill Landfill rehabilitation, $2,601,323 for road rebuild and reconstruction program, $1,190,000 for Dungeness Car Park enhancement and $550,000 for sewerage for the Forrest Beach RV Park. Importantly, a further $10,857,901 of Disaster Relief Road Works will be undertaken to further improve the road network.”
“Council has committed $3.2 million on refurbishing waste facilities with this year’s program as the base line start to additional works in future years to an estimated value of a further $3.1 million, with these initial works being complete in 2023.” Cr Jayo said.
“The Electronic Water Meter Program continues into the second year of installation of the new smart meters.”
“Council continues to seek funding opportunities and will receive $2.4 million under the 2019-2021 Works for Queensland Program and a further $1.74 million under the 2020-2021 COVID Works for Queensland to assist with job creation and economic stimulus programs.” Cr Jayo said.
The full 2020-2021 Budget document can be viewed on Council’s website, Budgets page.