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Goondiwindi Regional Council adopts 2019-2020 budget

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Mayor’s address

I am pleased to present the Goondiwindi Regional Council Budget for 2019-2020 – my 12th as Mayor of the Goondiwindi region and the last Budget of the current council.

The last four years have seen Council achieve many wonderful projects and improve the facilities and services across the region. The Goondiwindi region is celebrated as a great place to live, work, visit and invest. It’s why Bernard Salt declared Goondiwindi as Queensland’s most liveable town and why our region is known as Regional Australia at its best.

We are proud to have achieved this success in a financially responsible manner that will leave future councils with a solid base to build upon.

This year, Council has managed to apply a general rate rise of 1.98% after the early payment discount and is working towards a deficit of $314,702, in line with long-term forecasts. We believe this to be a very reasonable target in the current economic climate. I understand that some residents may be facing financial pressures and I would encourage those residents to contact our rates staff early to discuss potential payment arrangements.

The current Budget will see approximately $20 million of external funding brought into the region through major contract works and government grants and subsidies. The work that these funds create is very important for delivering Council services and the wider economy of our region. Your council staff should be commended for their hard work in securing this funding for our region.

Council’s priority for this and recent Budgets has been to plan for the sustainable future of our region while ensuring that services to the community and infrastructure are maintained at the appropriate level, in line with community expectation.

Waste

One major change to our region that has been carefully reflected in the Budget is the introduction of the Queensland Government Waste Levy from 1 July 2019. The levy will require drastic changes to how we handle waste in the Goondiwindi region.

Council must put in place processes to collect $75 from every tonne of commercial waste sent to landfill and, as a result, I urge all businesses to review the way that they manage waste to minimise the impact of this levy. It is a good opportunity for everyone across the region to take stock of the waste that they generate and perhaps to source alternative methods of waste management. 

As a result of this state levy, we must implement changes to the waste collection facilities that Council manages across the region to meet requirements. New waste transfer stations will be constructed in Bungunya, Talwood, Toobeah and Yelarbon at a cost of more than $1 million. A new $860,000 waste transfer station and weighbridge will be constructed at Inglewood.  Around 75% of this cost will go back to our community through local contractors and tradies.

The annual domestic garbage service will see a $20 increase to $315 per year. Commercial services will increase to $355 per year.

Water 

As I’m sure residents are aware, our water resources are under particular pressure in the current circumstances. Council has had to increase the cost of potable water from $1.28 per thousand litres to $1.41 per thousand litres for the 2019-20 financial year. Standard water connections will increase by $18 to $350 per year. Despite this increase, the Goondiwindi region remains significantly cheaper than many other councils in the area. It is likely that some form of restriction is to be introduced in the immediate future as Council looks to extend the life of the existing supply.

It is important that we invest in the future reliability of the region’s supply. Over the next 12 months, Council will deliver one of its largest investment programs in water infrastructure. Some of the projects in that program include:

Talwood reservoir expansion and plant works                             $1,010,000

Yelarbon reservoir expansion and pressure works                       $1,030,000

Texas treatment plant works                                                      $   530,000

Inglewood treatment plant works                                                $   440,000

Goondiwindi filter replacements                                                  $   665,000

Water main replacements                                                           $   500,000

 

Sewerage

Council’s connected sewerage fee will increase from $425 to $435 per year.

Other Capital Projects

Council will continue its investment in essential infrastructure with an impressive suite of capital projects. Roads remain a key focus for Council; major capital works investments over the next year will include $950,000 for the continued sealing of Goodar and Daymar-Weengallon Roads and $400,000 for shoulder works on Minnel, Talwood-Mungindi and Riverton Roads.

Council will also spend $350,000 on drainage and levee repair works in Goondiwindi and $880,000 on the Yelarbon Sewerage system.

Your council staff and councillors have worked very hard to prepare the 2019-20 Budget and I am very satisfied with what they have developed. I believe it balances the community’s needs for today with its expectations for the future in a financially responsible way. We must continue to work on this balance and ensure that services are provided in the most cost-effective and efficient method possible.

Graeme Scheu

Mayor

Goondiwindi Regional Council

Published: June 10th 2019