Council’s $119 million budget takes account of cost of living pressures

Cr Kerri Cryer, Mayor Tom Sharp and Cr Stephen Moriarty
Cr Kerri Cryer, Mayor Tom Sharp and Cr Stephen Moriarty

Rate rises have been kept to a minimum in Council’s $119 million 2024-2025 Budget, which focuses on delivering key services and infrastructure to meet community needs.

Scenic Rim Mayor Tom Sharp said the 2024-2025 Budget, the first of the new Council term, signalled a change of direction, with a focus on consolidating infrastructure programs and community services to reflect current economic conditions.

Adopted at today’s Special Meeting, the budget takes account of current cost of living pressures on ratepayers, with an overall increase in revenue of 2.76 per cent in the minimum general rate and community infrastructure charge. For principal place of residence properties on the minimum general rate, the increase equates to just $45 a year.

Representing 62 per cent of Scenic Rim ratepayers, principal place of residence properties will see an average increase of 2.94 per cent. Rates for rural principal place of residence properties, representing seven per cent of Scenic Rim ratepayers, will also see an average increase of 2.95 per cent.

“For most residential property owners in the Scenic Rim, the rates increases will be below the current CPI of 3.4 per cent,” Cr Sharp said.

“This is a budget that aims to balance increasing cost of living pressures being felt across our community and Council’s commitment to delivering the necessary services and infrastructure for our region.”

The 2024-2025 Budget provides for total capital spending of $37.1 million, with a focus on roadworks which have been allocated $17.88 million.

“This includes Australian and Queensland Government capital grants funding of $7.04 million, enabling Council to deliver key infrastructure projects for our community,” Cr Sharp said.

“Council continues to pursue funding opportunities that reduce, as much as possible, the financial burden on our ratepayers and we are grateful for the ongoing support of our external funding partners.”

Key infrastructure works are also supported in Council’s budget by the provision of $6.8 million for its Fleet Replacement Program which includes big-ticket heavy machinery needed for capital projects.

Council’s investment in community infrastructure continues in 2024-2025 with the allocation of $4.2 million for the first stage of the Gallery Walk car park at Tamborine Mountain.

The maintenance and upgrade of community facilities across the region are also supported with more than $1.88 million in the 2024-2025 Budget.

Cr Sharp said much of the budget planning was well under way before the swearing in of the new Council in April this year, which meant limited time for the incoming Council to significantly adjust the budget settings for the next 12 months.

“Nevertheless, community feedback has been valuable in ensuring that Council’s 2024-2025 Budget aligns with community needs and expectations and I would like to offer my thanks to everyone who has shared their views during the recent community engagement process,” he said.

“This process will be ongoing over the next 12 months, as we will be continuing to engage with members of our communities across the Scenic Rim to ensure that our objectives meet ratepayers’ needs.

Council’s commitment to achieving greater efficiencies and increasing productivity, as well as delivering vital capital works is reflected in the 2024-2025 Budget.

Scenic Rim Mayor Tom Sharp said Council will continue to work to achieve the best outcomes for the Scenic Rim by establishing a baseline of services, identifying and eliminating waste and achieving improved efficiencies.

“As an organisation, Council will focus on achieving higher levels of productivity and creating an environment of continuous improvement.”

“Allocation of funds for the sole appointment of a Continuous Improvement Officer for the entire organisation is a key initiative that highlights this Council’s focus on productivity and efficiency gains with the elimination of waste going forward” Cr Sharp said. 

“As a Council we are committed to providing the best value for money to our communities in a challenging economic environment.

“By establishing a baseline of services, identifying and eliminating waste and achieving improved efficiencies we will continue to work to achieve the best outcomes for the Scenic Rim.”