Redland City Council has urged the State Government to freeze its charges to Council for bulk water and business waste so the savings can be passed on to the local community.
Mayor Karen Williams said maintaining the charges at 2019-20 levels would help to ease the burden on residents and businesses as Council managed the city’s emergence from the impacts of COVID-19.
“It would allow Council to deliver this month’s recovery budget based on the lowest and most accurate water and waste costs; supporting us in our efforts to reboot the local economy and provide the services residents tell us they want while helping those adversely impacted by COVID-19,” Cr Williams said.
“A freeze on charges outside of our control – such as what the State charges Council for commercial waste going to landfill and especially for bulk water, considering the hefty increases imposed over the past several years – would significantly assist us to do that.
“Bulk water costs and the commercial waste levy are passed on to users and the saving from a freeze would be significant. For bulk water alone, the published price for 1 July 2020 suggests it would be around $36 a year for average users.
“These cost increases have a budget impact and Council wants to ensure that every cent at our disposal is available for supporting the community by bringing forward the infrastructure projects that will help support the local economy and local jobs.”
She said Council’s 2020-21 budget was due to be delivered on Thursday 25 June despite the State Budget being postponed.
“We fully appreciate the State Government’s need to suspend its budget because it is simply not sensible to produce economic forecasts in these unprecedented times but Council, as the direct provider of essential community services, must push ahead with its budget and get Redlands Coast moving again,” Cr Williams said.
Cr Williams said Council was also seeking vital infrastructure commitments from the State Government under its Works for Queensland program and the Federal Government under its Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and Financial Assistance Grants.
“We already have 64 projects worth $82.9 million that are shovel-ready and which, if funded, will support jobs growth and deliver improvements for our community,” Cr Williams said.
“These include community disaster resilience and infrastructure improvements worth
$10.4 million for North Stradbroke Island and $8.6 million for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, communities which have been particularly hard hit.
“It also includes millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades to the Redlands Coast transport network, including 6.2km of footpaths, 26km of resurfacing mainland roads and 3.7km of green seal for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in the next financial year alone to help residents and visitors move around the city faster and safer.
“These job packages, along with a freeze on charges outside of Council’s control, can provide immediate relief and create a positive ripple effect across the community.
“We are, indeed, all in this together and I look forward to the State and Federal governments’ support for our plans.”
For details of Council’s recovery plans and assistance, go to the COVID-19 Business and Community page at redland.qld.gov.au