Redland City Council understands residents are feeling the effects of cost of living increases with fuel, groceries and State Government controlled electricity prices all on the rise. Council is not immune to these increases with these external cost increases contributing to a nearly 7 per cent or $12 million increase in our operating budget.
If Council had passed on these increases in full, it would have resulted in approximately a 10 per cent rates rise for residents. But rather than adding to residents already high cost of living pressures, Council has absorbed millions of dollars in external increases to keep rates low.
Council rates make up only about 3% of the average household budget (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics).
The State Government is responsible for the management of all bulk water, including the dams and associated treatment facilities that supply water to Councils. The State Government charges Councils for the management of bulk water and this year have increased costs by a massive 14.27 per cent. Redland City Council has all but absorbed this increase and as a result the average Redland City household using 200 kilolitres of water a year will see 3.3 per cent increase in water consumption costs. Families using an average of 400kl/year of water will actually see a 2.9 per cent reduction in water consumption costs.
Redland City has some of the lowest water prices in South East Queensland.
Redland City has the lowest Council debt per household in South East Queensland and continues to work hard to reduce this debt. While other Council’s debt continues to rise, along with State and Federal Government, our debt is half of what it was ten years ago and our forward projections show it remaining low, with no plans to borrow money next financial year.
Council’s low debt together with strong cash reserves means we are in a strong financial position to respond to emergencies.
Redland City Council has worked hard to keep rates rises low.
Our 2014-15 Budget includes a Headline Rate increase of 3.48 per cent, which is one of the lowest increases across South East Queensland.
Under this year’s budget the average owner-occupied property in rating category 1A will see a General Rate increase of 3.5 per cent or less than 80 cents per week.
This rates increase is in line with CPI and has been achieved despite Council being hit with millions of dollars in external cost increases, contributing to a $12 million rise in our operational expenditure.
If Council had passed these external cost increases on in full, it would have meant nearly a 10 per cent rates increase, but Council has instead absorbed millions of dollars of costs to keep rates increases low for residents.
Over the last three years Redland City Council has consistently kept rates increases at or below CPI. In fact our headline rates increases for the last three years equate to an increase of 6.82 per cent over the three years, while the CPI increase for the same period is 10.97 per cent. The above graph shows that Redland City Council rates increases are only half of some neighbouring Councils.
Our Conservation Fire Management Team is undertaking a planned burn on Thursday 26 June, in the Scribbly Gums Conservation Area at Alexandra Hills (see below – area within the blue boundary in the centre of the map).
Planned burns are necessary to reduce the volume of forest litter fuel to assist with hazard reduction and provide conditions essential for native plant species regeneration.
It is appreciated that these burns may cause some inconvenience, however all attempts are made to limit any smoke hazards from the work.
For more information, phone our fire conservation officer on 3829 8456.
Toondah Harbour Boat Ramp will be temporarily closed to recreational and commercial vessels while Council undertakes dredging activities nearby. Works will start from Thursday 26 June and take approximately 25 days, weather permitting.
You’ll need to use an alternative public boat ramp during this period. The nearest ramp is located at William Street, Raby Bay, Cleveland.
It’s echidna mating season and Council is reminding everyone to slow down when driving through wildlife areas. These quirky creatures have quite a mating ritual, with male echidnas lining up behind the female for their chance to woo her. It’s a risky business when the echidna train tries to cross a road.
In the last month, four echidnas have been struck by cars and have needed emergency transport with the Redlands After-hours Wildlife Ambulance (RAWA) for treatment.
This is just one example of the great work RAWA does, but it needs your help!
RAWA provides emergency rescue and transport for wildlife in Redland City and needs more volunteers. Volunteers work in teams of three, from 5pm – 8am one week every six weeks. New volunteers are given training, with the next induction day being held Saturday 19 July.
If you would like to join the RAWA team, please contact 3824 8611.
With winter school holidays under way, Council is on the job of banishing dreaded ‘I’m bored’ declarations. Redland Art Gallery, Redland Libraries and Redlands IndigiScapes Centre all have holiday programs to entertain your children.
Redland Art Gallery has interactive art sessions including wearable art, creating curious creatures, freestyling and Yunggulba (floodtide) – a special NAIDOC Week activity station. For details and booking information, please call 3829 8463 or visit the Redland Art Gallery.
Redland Libraries will have stories and crafts galore, including a dragons’ day out. For bookings and information visit the Redland City What’s On Calendar.
For nature lovers, Redlands IndigiScapes Centre is a must. Activities include earth exploring, bushwalking and night spotlight tours. For booking information visit Redlands IndigiScapes.
Redland Art Gallery also has two exhibitions launching on Sunday 6 July, Yunggulba (floodtide) by Megan Cope and Convolution: A woven sculptural installation with Casselle Mountford and Anaheke Metua.
Yunggulba (floodtide) opens as part of Council’s NAIDOC Week celebrations and combines military topographical maps with layering to reveal the legacy of government policy on Aboriginal people. Convolution: A woven sculptural installation explores traditional methods of weaving natural fibres and other materials.
Both exhibitions are on display at Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland until Sunday 17 August. For more details visit the Redland Art Gallery.