Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo has delivered the 2019-2020 Budget and has announced that there would be no rate increase this financial year.
“General Rates will remain at the 2018-2019 levels and there will be no increases to water, sewerage or waste collection utility charges for Hinchinbrook ratepayers,” Cr Jayo said.
Cr Jayo said that Council would be utilising Federal Government Disaster Relief funding to offset increased costs and inflation in lieu of a rating increase.
“The 2019-2020 Budget will utilise $500,000 worth of financial assistance from the Federal Government to avoid the need to increase rates.”
"Council acknowledges the adverse impact of the recent natural disasters that occurred in March and December 2018 and February 2019, in addition to the prolonged wet weather and hopes that this will provide some relief to those in our community who are experiencing the demands of increasing costs and unfavorable conditions.”
Mayor Jayo said that Council had also undertaken an extensive assessment of operational expenses in order to identify saving opportunities whilst ensuring service levels are maintained.
“To ensure that there would be no rate increase this year it was essential that Council considered where savings could be achieved in the operational budget whilst not impacting on the delivery of essential services to the community.”
“It is important to acknowledge that Council’s Operational Budget totals $27,049,681. Within the Operational Budget a wide range of essential services are provided such as, Water and Sewerage Services, Road and Asset Management, Public Open Spaces and Facilities Management, Waste and Environmental Services, Economic Development and Community Services.”
“In addition to the Operational Budget, Capital funds totalling $19,557,159 have been allocated to continue our vision of providing a progressive, liveable and diverse Shire and importantly will provide a wide range of economic stimulus to our local contractors.”
Cr Jayo said that the community was at the heart of the Budget with a strong focus on the long term sustainability and liveability of the Shire key considerations.
“Fundamentally, the decisions that underpin the 2019-2020 Budget revolved around the long term sustainability of the Shire and the liveability of our community; whilst taking into consideration the recent environmental impacts that have affected our community; and importantly, the potential to better the community through diversification of industry and facilitation of alternate economic products.”
The full 2019-2020 Budget document can be viewed on Council’s website, Budgets page.