Budget does more with less as govt support still missing

GLADSTONE region ratepayers are set to boost council coffers by more than 3% in extra rates and charges, but Gladstone Regional Council is still delivering a smaller budget than last year.

Mayor Gail Sellers has promised to do more with less and hit out at lack of support from the State and Federal Governments.

"I've said many, many times that the Gladstone region doesn't get the support it should from the State and Federal Governments, but we're very pleased to be able to keep the budget with a rise to CPI," she said.

Land valuations in the region increased by 10%, the residential general rate has risen 2.5%, and added with service rates, depending on location, it's an average total rise of 3.13%.

The 2013/14 budget is $293 million, down from $328 million last year.

"This year's budget is less than last year's budget, but it's still more than what we actually spent last year," Cr Sellers said.

Sewerage charges have gone up about 10% or $52 a year in Boyne/Tannum/Calliope/Gladstone with no change to Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.

The council is also investing about $13 million in water treatment infrastructure upgrades in the region.

Despite the council losing its Gladstone Area Water Board dividend from June 30 this year, cash from last year's dividend of $4.19 million  and from the $10.6 million received about two months ago has helped soften the blow.

That means costs per kilolitre in the Lake Awoonga Treatment Scheme have risen 4c, not the previously projected 44c.

Rural areas already suffer above state average water costs - now residents on the Miriam Vale and Bororen Scheme and Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy Scheme will see an increase of 10c a kilolitre.

"It's always going to be that way because of the smaller number of people using that resource," Cr Sellers said.

The Engineering Services portfolio received the bulk of budget funds with $107.7 million in capital and almost $83 million in operational funding.

"A significant proportion of council costs are in bitumen, steel, construction materials and electricity," Cr Sellers said.

Gladstone - what will you pay?

  • Kin Kora land valued at $260,000 equals a 2.53% rate rise on last year, $43.85 increase to $1775.80.
  • Garbage collection up $7 to $265 a year.
  • $52 extra per year in sewerage.
  • Lake Awoonga Treatment Scheme water access $32 a year, plus an extra $12.50 to $477 a year for a family that uses 300kl.

What do you think of Gladstone council's budget?

This poll ended on 02 August 2013.

Current Results

Great effort

12%

Not bad in tough times

12%

As expected

12%

Disappointing

25%

Another rip-off

37%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.