Tag Archives: budget

Redland City Council limits rates rise


Redland City Council’s 2016-17 Budget will see a typical Redlands household’s rates increase by just 0.7 per cent or about 43 cents a week – the lowest rise in South-East Queensland.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said this year’s $288 million Budget, adopted unanimously, also predicted a fourth successive operating surplus while maintaining Council’s low debt levels.

“This year a typical Redland household – that’s a category 1a owner-occupied property with a property value of about $306,450 – will see a modest increase of just 0.7 per cent or about 43 cents a week including all water consumption, rates and utility charges,” she said.

“Indeed, this increase covers only a small part of the extra impost on Council from rises in water, utilities and other state government charges.

“Council has been particularly hard hit by a 9.2 per cent increase in state government bulk water charges – the fifth hefty increase in a row –  and had it not been for this and other rises outside of our control residents’ bills would have gone down with the average general rate for a category 1a owner-occupied property falling 3.1 per cent.

“This is the best result in our region by far and I thank Councillors for unifying to put residents first by absorbing millions of dollars in external costs rather than passing them on.’’

The weekly increase of 43 cents compares with 72 cents for Moreton Bay Regional Council, $1.12 for the Gold Coast, $1.35 for Brisbane, $1.40 for Logan, $2.02 for Ipswich and $2.14 for the Sunshine Coast.

Cr Williams said the increase in the state’s bulk water charge to $33.3 million followed an increase of about 10 per cent last year, which Council absorbed.

“While we must pass on this year’s state government rise, we have kept our retail water costs at last year’s levels to minimise the impact on residents,’’ she said.

“It means the total water and waste charge component will cost 2.55 per cent more, eroding the cut in the average general rate.’’

Cr Williams said it was pleasing that existing ratepayers were funding only a small part of Council’s total revenue increase – or headline rate – of 3.41 per cent over last year.

“Much of this increase will come from new ratepayers coming to the city and growth in development contributions as well as improved grants funding from the State and Federal governments and not out of existing ratepayers’ pockets,’’ Cr Williams said.

“This allows Redland City to maintain among the lowest debt levels in South-East Queensland and deliver a modest and financially prudent operating surplus of just under $500,000 while raising the bar on service delivery.

“The increase compares well with other councils in the region, with our residents benefiting from by far the lowest rises and the fact we have low debt and money in the bank.’’

Cr Williams said a benefit of Council’s sound financial planning was the creation of a new Community Infrastructure Fund to address priorities in the divisions.

“This is about bringing forward capital works projects locally considered of high priority,’’ Cr Williams said. “We have been able to do this because the city has cash in the bank.’’

Other highlights of the Budget include:

  • A rationalisation of ratings categories across the mainland and Southern Moreton Bay Islands to provide for consistency between communities, with the minimum rate also brought into line across the city.
  • An increase in rebates to pensioners, up $5 to $335 for full pensioners and $2.50 for part-pensioners.
  • No new borrowings.

Cr Williams congratulated Councillors for their unified approach to this year’s budget and for working hard to keep rate increases to a minimum.

“Through this budget Councillors have minimised both rate rises and debt while delivering a
$77 million capital plan,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Nearly $25 million has been committed to road, traffic and transport upgrades and initiatives, underscoring Council’s commitment to making it easier for Redlanders to get around their city and commute.’’

The 2016-17 Budget provides:

  • $20.97 million for roads projects, including the green seal program on the Southern Moreton Bay and Coochiemudlo islands.
  • $7.69 million for infrastructure, including the Cleveland pool redevelopment, stormwater drainage upgrades and expansion, carpark resurfacing, cycleways and footpaths.
  • $4.58 million for open space and conservation projects, including $500,000 for sportsfield lighting at John Fredericks Park, Capalaba, and playground and park renewals.
  • $8.86 million for marine and foreshore projects including the seawall program and Macleay Island ramp carpark and seawall and asbestos capping projects.
  • $11.17 million for community and cultural services, including the Community Infrastructure Fund.
  • $1.24 million for new water services.
  • $12.58 million for wastewater projects.
  • $9.72 million for land acquisitions and asset replacement programs.

The Budget at a glance:

  • A typical Redland household; that is a category 1a owner-occupied property with a property value of about $306,450 will see a modest increase of just 0.7 per cent or about 43 cents a week including all water consumption, rates and utility charges.
  • Weekly increase of 43 cents compares with 72 cents for Moreton Bay, $1.12 for the Gold Coast, $1.35 for Brisbane, $1.40 for Logan, $2.02 for Ipswich and $2.14 for the Sunshine Coast.
  • Average general rate decrease of 3.1 per cent, excluding levies and utilities.
  • A headline rate (Council total revenue) increase of 3.41 per cent, much of which has come through growth and an increase in contributions from development projects.
  • No new borrowings to maintain Council low debt ratios.
  • Restricting the average increase of the water and waste component to 2.5 per cent – despite a 9.2 per cent increase in the state government’s bulk water charges.
  • No increase in Council’s retail water costs.
  • A predicted operating surplus of $479,000.
  • An increase of $5 in the full pensioner rate to $335, with a $2.50 increase for part-pensioners.
  • Capital expenditure totalling $77 million.
  • Inclusion of a $5 State Emergency Service levy in the overall 0.7 per cent average rates increase.
  • Environment charge increases $1.88 to $89.08 a year.
  • Landfill remediation charge up by 86 cents to $40.86.

Valuations and rating reform

Council’s general rate is based on valuations calculated by the state government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Revaluations are outside of Council’s control and this year led to substantial increases in older, established Bayside suburbs such as  Ormiston, which was up 15.21 per cent, and Wellington Point, which rose  20.19 per cent.

Council is obliged to use these new valuations in framing its rates and much consideration was given to ensuring their impact was minimised.

The effect of these increased valuations was mitigated by significant rating reform which now provides a simpler system that allows for consistency across the city.

It means increases in areas such as Ormiston and Wellington Point are much lower than they might have been.

For example, under the reform the rate in the dollar paid by a Wellington Point home owner whose property’s value has increased from $255,000 to $305,000 will fall. Once the higher valuation is taken into account, their overall rates including water and other charges will go up by about 4.2 per cent despite a valuation increase of almost 20 per cent and a 9.2 per cent rise in the state government’s bulk water charge.

Home owners who believed their valuations were incorrect and who could provide information to support this were given an opportunity to lodge an objection to the Valuer-General earlier this year.

Go to our website at for full budget information.

Council to create priority criteria for capital works


Redland City Council today adopted a Capital Works Prioritisation Policy which will ensure capital budget allocations align with the needs of the community.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the aim of the policy was to ensure better value for money while taking care of existing assetts the comunity owns first and foremost.

“While we already carefully scrutinise how our ratepayers’ dollars are spent, having an adopted policy further strengthens this process,” Cr Williams said.

“This policy will provide a system for assessing all capital works projects against set criteria to ensure we are not committing to an unsustainable financial future.

“It is about understanding the whole of life costs for any potential projects before we commit hard earned ratepayers dollars.

“This gives us added security that funds are allocated where they are most needed, providing a strong framework for building infrastructure across the city.

Infrastructure Portfolio Spokesperson Cr Murray Elliott said the new system would create a consistent way of allocating budget in future years.

“By having a standard priorisation criteria for projects, we will be able to give our residents the services they need most and better forecast our budget requirements,” he said.

“From our parks to our roads and footpaths, our capital works are a substantial allocation in Council’s annual budget and this policy will give our residents added peace of mind we are investing where we need to.”

Following the adoption of the policy, Council will create a set of criteria that can be applied across all capital works projects with the hope of these being in place in the near future.

The priorisation criteria supports a review of project delivery being undertaken by Council, which will improve the processes around project delivery.

Redland City budget leads the way – again


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has today delivered the lowest headline rates increase in South East Queensland … for the second year in a row.

Cr Williams said the $238 million budget for 2013-14 provided cost of living relief while delivering the high quality services people expected from their Council.

“I was proud of Council’s first budget last year, but I am even more proud of our second, which delivers the surplus I predicted a year ago and a headline rates increase of 1.43 per cent,” she said.

“We have absorbed millions of dollars in external costs imposed on us by other levels of government, providing a reprieve for our ratepayers who otherwise would have been forced to foot the huge bill through significant rate increases.

raby-bay

“Without these external factors, we could have seen a rates freeze.

“Even with these extra costs, this budget places Redland City in an enviable financial position, while still being able to cope with any unforeseen circumstances which may arise.

“This is a budget for today – and for tomorrow. It is responsive, realistic and responsible.

“We are again delivering ratepayers great value for their money.”

Budget highlights

  • Headline rates increase of 1.43 per cent – lowest in SEQ
  • The average residential owner occupied mainland property with a value of $282,000 and using the average amount of water (200kl), will see a rates increase of just 1.1 per cent, including all utilities and levies,
  • In dollar terms this equate to an increase of 66 cents per week or about equivalent to the cost of a postage stamp
  • Predicts first operating surplus for many years
  • Capital program $56.9 million
  • Council water charges up 4.5 per cent – compared with State Government bulk water price hike of 16 per cent
  • Average domestic waste water costs down 13.2 per cent – saving $96 a year to average household
  • Environmental levy reduced by $34.80 per year
  • Rating categories reduced from 45 to 22
  • Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) residents get access to TransLink network
  • Maintains existing assets
  • Maintains a manageable level of debt

Cr Williams said the 2013-14 Budget would deliver a surplus of $317,000.
media release

“This is the first Redland City Budget in many years to deliver a surplus. It may be relatively small but our solid financial position will make us the envy of many other Councils,” she said.

”The average headline rate increase of just 1.43 per cent balances the needs of the Redlands community with the capacity of residents to pay.

“The average residential owner occupied mainland property, which has a value of $282,000 and using the average amount of water (200kl), will see a rates increase of just 1.1 per cent, including all utilities and levies, or in dollar terms a rate increase of 66 cents per week or about equivalent to the cost of a postage stamp.

“This modest increase fulfills the promise I made during the mayoralty campaign to keep rates to at or below CPI which this year is 2.5 per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“Residents have been hit by massive increases in State Government bulk water prices (up 16 per cent) and electricity charges (up 22.6 per cent), as well as rising grocery and fuel costs.

“People are really hurting. Some South East Queensland councils have passed on their cost increases through rates rises as high as 5 per cent.

“Redland City has crunched the numbers to ensure we can deliver the lowest rates increase possible while delivering all the services people have come to expect.

“This will include a considerable increase in road spending to provide for the future growth of the city.”

Cr Williams said the State-imposed bulk water increase had been offset by a reduction in the cost of Council controlled waste water by 13.23 per cent, or an average $96 a year.

“This saving will mean the average Redland property will actually see a $7.52 fall in utility charges,” she said.

“The fact that we have been able to pass this saving on to residents despite the massive external price increases of water and electricity that Council has opted to absorb is fantastic news for the Redlands community.”

Council has also cut the number of rating categories this year from 45 to 22, providing a more consistent approach and reducing rates for the majority of residents.

“I feel we still have some way to go to achieve reform in rating across the City but this will ensure clear, transparent rationale behind the categories,” Cr Williams said.

The changes to rating categories also reinstates separate canal levies for residents at Raby Bay, Sovereign Waters and Aquatic Paradise, splitting this cost from their general rates to ensure transparency.

“The reinstatement of separate canal levies was requested by the people who live in these areas and they now get greater transparency on how the funds are raised for the expenditure spent on the canals and lake,” Cr Williams said.

“I am proud of the work done in framing this Budget and believe it sets the foundations for the future of the city, especially given the impact of costs which are outside Council’s control.

“We’re certainly heading in the right direction – we have reformed the way we do business and we are putting our City in a position which will leave money in the bank and infrastructure on the ground for generations to come.”

Key areas of capital expenditure

  • Transport: $25 million
  • Waste water: $8.38 million
  • Open space: $4.79 million
  • Marine: $4.34 million
  • Lakes and canals: $3.19 million
  • Water: $1.84 million

Key capital projects

  • Dunwich Sewerage upgrade: $1.6m
  • Point Lookout waste water treatment plant: $15m over three years
  • Capping and rehabilitation of exhausted landfill sites: $3m
  • Macleay Island ramp car park: $3.4m over two years
  • Moreton Bay bikeway
  • Coochiemudlo Island Jetty: $1.85m
  • Headland Park NSI: $500,000

 

Roads key focus in Redland City Budget


Redland City Council will spend $20 million on capital road projects throughout 2013-14 – including an increased focus on resurfacing local roads.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the roads program announced in today’s (June 27) 2013-14 Redland City Council Budget, would lay the foundations for the future of the city.

“An extra 45,000 residents are expected to call the Redlands home over the next 20 years, so it is important our local road network is able to safely and effectively transport people throughout the city,” she said.

roads

“The 2013-14 Budget significantly increases expenditure for roads resealing and surfacing as well as several safety upgrades to key local roads and intersections.
“Residents have told us roads and road safety are key concerns to them. We have listened, and we have responded, as a good Council should.”

Infrastructure spokesman Cr Murray Elliott, (Division 7), said many of the city’s roads had been built 30-40 years ago and were now nearing the end of their useful lives.
“Council has developed a 10-year program to upgrade roads across the city,” he said.

Cr Elliott said an 82 per cent increase for resurfacing works to $7.5 million and $2 million for pavement rehabilitation were significant, particularly given the external economic challenges the Council faced in framing its Budget.

“Everyone hates potholes,” he said. “Our Budget looks after the assets we have and will keep them in good working order. It delivers a program that will ensure we have a safe, efficient and effective road network and that our city continues to develop.”
The key road projects include a $1.4 million roundabout at the Nelson and Main Road intersection, Wellington Point and a $1.5 million project on King Street, Thornlands.

The island communities will also benefit from the upgrades, particularly given Council’s $2 million commitment to roads on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
Coochiemudlo Islanders will benefit from a $400,000 upgrade of Merindah Street.

Key capital road projects for 2013-14:

  • $7.5 million – Resurfacing works across the City
  • $2 million – Pavement rehabilitation across the City
  • $1.5 million – Roundabout at intersection of King Street and Baythorn Drive (Thornlands)
  • $1.4 million – Roundabout at intersection of Nelson and Main roads (Wellington Point)
  • $2 million – Southern Moreton Bay Islands roads upgrades
  • $600,000 – Salisbury Street (Redland Bay) kerb and channel
  • $600,000 – Fitzroy Street (Cleveland) kerb and channel
  • $550,000 – Queen/Wellington streets (Cleveland) road upgrade
  • $400,000 – Merindah Street (Coochiemudlo Island) road upgrade
  • $389,000 – Wellington/McCartney streets (Ormiston) kerb and channel
  • $312,000 – Four safe school travel (SafeST) initiatives at Birkdale State School, Bayview State School (Thornlands), Redland Bay State School and Star of the Sea School (Cleveland)
  • $60,000 – Weippin Street (Cleveland) pedestrian refuge
  • $50,000 – Bloomfield Street (Cleveland) pedestrian improvements
  • $35,000 – Rosewood Street (Birkdale) intersection upgrade

Council Budget delivers for SMBI residents


Redland City Council will effectively neutralise the financial impact of new TransLink services for the majority Southern Moreton Bay Island residents as part of its 2013-14 Budget.

Mayor Karen Williams said a reduction in the infrastructure component of general rates would offset the cost of extending the transport network from July 1.

“I am happy to announce that the extension of the TransLink network to the SMBI – and its subsequent boost to property values and connectivity – will come without an additional cost impact for the majority of islanders,” Cr Williams said.

“The extension of the TransLink network to the SMBI is the best thing that has happened to the islands, and islanders, for years.

“To make this happen after years of lobbying without success, we had to make a contribution to the Government, via a special charge.

“This is a win-win for islanders – they get the enormous advantages of cheaper travel via TransLink and accessibility to and from the SMBI and we have found a way to absorb the cost.

“The Budget offsets the levy cost of $85.46 on island properties by reducing the infrastructure component of rates by a similar amount.”

Cr Williams made the announcement when handing down Council’s 2013-14 Budget on Thursday 27 June, which included the lowest rates rise in South East Queensland.

“By absorbing many external costs rather than passing them on to ratepayers, we are able to hand down a Budget that includes a modest headline rates increase of only 1.43 per cent increase,” she said.

“For the average Redlands property this equates to 66 cents per week or about the price of a postage stamp.”

Cr Williams said it was a 3Rs Budget:

  • It is responsive to the needs of residents and the cost of living pressures they are facing.
  • It is realistic in its objectives, balancing the needs of the community with the ability to pay for projects to set the foundations for the future
  • It is responsible in its fiscal commitments, planning for the future of the city by keeping debt down.

“We are again focusing on the basics – putting our residents first and delivering the services they want,” she said.

Division Five Councillor Mark Edwards said SMBI residents would benefit from several key projects included in this year’s Budget.

“This includes all-ability access to the Lamb Island public toilets, which will include a new pathway to and around the public toilet, as well as infrastructure upgrades and improved lighting,” he said.

“Temporary pedestrian access will be provided to the jetty terminal and temporary toilets will be provided for the duration of the project, which is expected to be complete by the end of July, weather permitting.

“Other Budget items for SMBI include almost $760,000 to upgrade the Macleay Island Ramp Park, car park and boat ramp.

“Pontoons on Macleay and Russell islands will also be upgraded and $2 million has been set aside for future SMBI road projects.”

Some of the SMBI projects included in the 2013-14 Budget:

• Russell Island boat ramp upgrade: $370,000
• Russell Island pontoon upgrade: $40,000
• Russell Island Hall redevelopment: $50,000
• Macleay Island boat ramp upgrade: $412,500
• Macleay Island Bowls Club beach access ramp: $7500
• Macleay Island Bowls Club seawall: $20,000
• Macleay Island ramp park: $499,999.50
• Macleay Island ramp car park: $200,000
• Macleay Island boat ramp: $60,000
• Macleay Island pontoon upgrade: $50,000
• Macleay Island barge ramp (facility renewal): $40,000
• Karragarra Island beach access ramp: $7500
• Bay Islands capital Infrastructure Fund: $67,900
• Future SMBI road projects: $1,000,000
• SMBI road upgrade program: $1,000,000