Moreton Bay Regional Council has just adopted its $861 million Budget for 2023/24.
Here’s what’s in it for you including the rise in rates, funding for key projects, roads, services and events, plus a sweetener for self-funded retirees.
Mayor Peter Flannery says the Budget will provide the stability and confidence and locals need during a period of economic uncertainty, with cost-of-living measures built in for those doing it tough including pensioners, families, and people with disabilities.
He says the focus has been to keep the rate rise as low as possible – just over $100 a year for an average owner-occupied residential property.
“Despite the Consumer Price Index going up over seven per cent and the Road and Bridge Construction Price Index going up 13.2 per cent - we’ve managed to keep the general rate rise at just 4.45 per cent,” Mayor Flannery says.
“That’s a total average increase for an owner-occupied residential property of $1.96 per week or 5.85 per cent and this is the second consecutive year the average total rate rise has been below CPI.”
He says the region remains one of the lowest rating Councils in South East Queensland.
“The real balancing act this year was to keep costs down for locals, while still having enough in the bank to ensure our infrastructure investment keeps pace with population growth,” he says.
“This year’s $264 million in capital work program does this without breaking the bank, because we absolutely cannot afford to slow down on infrastructure investment when Moreton Bay is welcoming 10,000 new residents every year.”
For the first time, self-funded retirees in the Moreton Bay Region will receive a rates rebate of $75 a year.
Mayor Peter Flannery says it means all eligible retirees in the Moreton Bay Region will now receive some form of financial assistance.
Council assets are calculated to be valued at about $9.4 billion and debt is about $267 million (2023). Council currently has an operating surplus of $7.9 million. Assets are forecast to be valued at $12 billion in 2032 and debt is forecast to hit more than $700 million by then.
Budget 2023/24 highlights:
- $90 million on road and transport networks
- $51 million on mowing and public green space maintenance
- $46 million towards 222 projects including road resurfacing, construction and rehabilitation
- $34 million Youngs Crossing Rd – bridge and road construction
- $33 million on maintaining existing roads, footpaths and bridges
- $33 million on libraries, arts, history and community facilities
- $31 million on waterways and coastal areas
- $25 million on parks and the environment
- $22 million on sport and recreation
- $16 million on sustainable waste management
- $4.9 million on wildlife initiatives and green infrastructure projects
- $2.5 million to commence a green bin rollout
- $1.3 million to continue to convert gravel to sealed roads
Check out highlights for each Division
Balancing character and growth
“My promise to the citizens of Moreton Bay is that we will not sacrifice our character or environment in the face of this population growth. We are ramping up our commitments to the things you’ve told us matter most,” Mayor Flannery says.
“I’m proud to say we’re increasing our commitment to free events, activities, and sports programs. In fact, of the 52 festivals and events coming up this financial year 47 of them will be completely free.
“We are maintaining free tipping for eligible households, capped at three tonnes or 26 visits each financial year.
“We will limit the spread of our urban footprint to just 25 per cent of our region’s land mass, which means 75 per cent of Moreton Bay will be preserved as greenspace to protect our wildlife and the lifestyle you love.
“You’ll notice we’re separating our Infrastructure and Environment charges so you can see exactly where that investment goes.
“We’re increasing the environment charge by $3.50 so that each rated property will contribute $25.50 per annum towards fund our green commitments, and we’ll expand its purpose to allow some funding to be directed to supporting community groups involved in the protective of our native wildlife and our environment.”
Mayor Flannery says Council is increasing its commitment to making Moreton Bay the most accessible destination in South East Queensland with its Accessibility Upgrade Program and Accessible Schools Program, as well as $3 million specifically for a changing places facility alongside the beach matting in Woorim.
“This will include space for beach wheelchair storage, showers, and accessible change rooms available for all,” he explains.
“We’re also giving eligible, self-funded retirees a $75 rates rebate because we know every penny counts right now.
“This builds on the $100 rates remission we introduced for part-pensioners in 2020 to benefit 8,800 people across our region. This was extended in 2021 to give $250 worth of rates concession over the financial year.
“I see this year’s Budget as investment in the soul of the city we will become - one that boasts a vibrant civic lifestyle, that cares for its older residents, prioritises accessibility and equity, and considers our natural environment in everything we do.”
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