Views from South Gladstone for Real Estate.
Views from South Gladstone for Real Estate. Mike Richards GLA120117RESG

How our council rates stack up against others

LATEST data on Gladstone Regional Council rates and its level of debt has revealed how we stack up against neighbouring councils.

GRC's debt forecast for the end of the 2017/18 financial year is $126.6m, with the current level at $131.4m.

Gladstone is $28m better off than Rockhampton Regional Council, while Bundaberg's debt is $86m.

Council debt has reduced by $10m since March last year and is forecast to go down to $106m by the end of the council term in 2020.

 

Category 4 Councils Forecast Debt for June 30, 2018.Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils.
Category 4 Councils Forecast Debt for June 30, 2018.Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils. Centro Art

GRC chief financial officer Mark Holmes said the council had no plans to borrow as they continued to chip away at its debt.

"In terms of principal interest we're paying down approximately $10m a year," Mr Holmes said.

"Our loans are a fixed rate and we don't have a choice in that lender which is through Queensland Treasury Corporation for all local governments.

"It's very much what you'd equate to a fixed home loan."

For council rates and charges, Gladstone is the second-cheapest out of Category Four councils which include Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast.

Council categories are are set by the Remuneration Tribunal for Queensland and are dependent on the number of rateable properties, but also budget size and size of the council area.

The Gladstone Region has 31,875 ratepayers of which 21,838 are residential.

Our general rates are the most expensive, but we have the cheapest waste levy and have no road levy, Rockhampton charges $450 for roads in their rates bill.

 

Rates Comparisons of Category 4 Councils for the 2017/2018 financial year. Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils.
Rates Comparisons of Category 4 Councils for the 2017/2018 financial year. The Net Rates Levied figure is after discounts are applied. Centro Art

Mr Holmes said the council was continually looking at measures to ease the burden on ratepayers.

"Council's rates are reflective of the cost to provide services to the community and is reflective of the costs of providing for our parks, roads and water and sewerage assets as well as our social infrastructure," he said.

Rates and charges differ in each of the five Gladstone townships of Agnes Water, Boyne Island, Calliope, Tannum Sands and Gladstone.

Agnes has the highest average in rates and charges, largely down to its remoteness compared to other locations.

"Water and sewage is very much a function of the number of connections you have and in terms of population density in a system the more dense the population the lower unit cost of those services," Mr Holmes said.

"Also at the moment their property values have held up a little bit better as well. When we calculate that it's the average of the properties in that area.

"There's a small amount of properties as well so that average would be helped by a number of higher-value properties."