Get the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) news and information from Queensland Health. Find out more
Talk to us 1300 242 686 Online Services
You are here Home About Council Council structure & governance Budget 2020-21

Budget 2020-21

  • Budget summary

    The Central Highlands Regional Council’s 2020-21 Budget was adopted on 30 June 2020.

    Download the Budget Summary 2020-21 for key highlights and facts.

  • Mayor's budget address

    Watch Mayor Kerry Hayes address the Central Highlands community regarding the 2020-21 budget.

  • Frequently asked questions

    Why are general rates increasing?

    Rates have increased this year by 1.9%. Rates are council’s main source of income, and while making a profit is not our goal, just like a household we have bills to pay and costs to recover. If rates do not increase to cover rising costs, council will be unable to maintain services at their current levels.

    Small increases in rates each year reduces the potential for future ‘rate shock’ where large one-off increases are needed to get council’s budget back in balance. Operational costs to deliver our 60-plus core services have mostly gone up, and COVID-19 has had an impact on our revenue.

    The budget process identifies the total revenue required from general rates for the coming 12-month period and this amount is then divided across all properties in accordance with their individual valuation. The Department of Natural Resources and Mines did not perform a valuation across the Central Highlands council area this year and therefore valuations remain unchanged.

    Are waste charges increasing?

    Waste charges have not increased. The reduction in the discount incentive has allowed council to hold these charges at the same level as last financial year.

    Are water access charges increasing?

    Water access charges have not increased for residential property owners. The reduction in the discount incentive has allowed council to hold these charges at the same level as last financial year.

    The base access charge for commercial property owners has also not increased, however there is an increase in the multiplier charge for larger meter connections that are greater than 25 mm.

    Why are water consumption charges increasing?

    Water consumption charges are increasing by 5.6%. This increase is necessary to make sure council’s water business can cover its operating costs, is able to meet loan principal repayments and to fund the backlog of future capital infrastructure works. The discount incentive has never applied to water consumption charges so there will be no impact from the change in the discount.

    Why are sewerage charges increasing?

    Sewerage charges will increase by 2% per annum to help maintain the projected revenue needed to ensure the sustainability of council’s sewerage services in the long-term. Keeping charges in line with increases to costs will reduce the need for general rates revenues to subsidise the sewerage operations. It will also mean that there will be sufficient funds for future capital works and maintenance.

    Why is the discount incentive on rates and utility charges being reduced to 5%?

    The money saved by reducing the discount incentive has helped us to keep the rates and charges increases as low as possible. The discount is comparable to other Queensland councils and CHRC remains one of the few that offer the incentive for both general rates and utility charges – most councils only offer the discount on general rates.

    Can you show me an example of how the changes might impact my bill?

    Each individual ratepayer will have a different circumstance based on their property details. However, as a basic example the table below shows how an average residential property’s rates and charges could be affected by this year’s changes.*Please note the general rates increase could be higher or lower than this depending on the individual property. However, all increases are capped at 10%. For information on how rates are calculated see the fact sheet below.

    How do our rates compare to other regions?

    It is very difficult to make any meaningful comparison between rates levied by different councils. Although councils do provide similar services, the level and type of services will vary and this will impact on the amount of general rates being charged. Councils also have different financial goals, plans, and visions for their communities which are used when setting their budgets and rates.

    Another factor is the mix of revenue types available to councils and this is a combination of rates, user fees and charges, government grants and assistance, and business unit income. Council’s with higher levels of income other than rates may be able to charge lower rates.

    How is council helping those suffering financially as a result of COVID-19?

    Council has adopted a new hardship policy to provide assistance to property owners and customers of council who are finding it difficult to meet their payment obligations as a result of financial hardship. The policy sets out options for those in difficulty stemming from unforeseen circumstances such as loss of job or income due to a pandemic or other natural disaster, or other circumstances beyond the property owner’s control.

    Those in financial difficulty will be able to apply for relief in accordance with the policy. If property owners or customers are experiencing hardship, they should contact council’s call centre to discuss their situation and options.

  • How rates are calculated

    This simplified infographic may help explain how land valuations are used in a formula to calculate rates.

  • Special budget meeting agenda

    Head to our Agendas & Minutes page to view the special budget meeting agenda, which contains the budget papers.

  • Media

    For media enquiries, please visit our Media Basket page.

The Central Highlands Regional Council’s 2020-21 Budget was adopted on 30 June 2020.

Download the Budget Summary 2020-21 for key highlights and facts.

Watch Mayor Kerry Hayes address the Central Highlands community regarding the 2020-21 budget.

Why are general rates increasing?

Rates have increased this year by 1.9%. Rates are council’s main source of income, and while making a profit is not our goal, just like a household we have bills to pay and costs to recover. If rates do not increase to cover rising costs, council will be unable to maintain services at their current levels.

Small increases in rates each year reduces the potential for future ‘rate shock’ where large one-off increases are needed to get council’s budget back in balance. Operational costs to deliver our 60-plus core services have mostly gone up, and COVID-19 has had an impact on our revenue.

The budget process identifies the total revenue required from general rates for the coming 12-month period and this amount is then divided across all properties in accordance with their individual valuation. The Department of Natural Resources and Mines did not perform a valuation across the Central Highlands council area this year and therefore valuations remain unchanged.

Are waste charges increasing?

Waste charges have not increased. The reduction in the discount incentive has allowed council to hold these charges at the same level as last financial year.

Are water access charges increasing?

Water access charges have not increased for residential property owners. The reduction in the discount incentive has allowed council to hold these charges at the same level as last financial year.

The base access charge for commercial property owners has also not increased, however there is an increase in the multiplier charge for larger meter connections that are greater than 25 mm.

Why are water consumption charges increasing?

Water consumption charges are increasing by 5.6%. This increase is necessary to make sure council’s water business can cover its operating costs, is able to meet loan principal repayments and to fund the backlog of future capital infrastructure works. The discount incentive has never applied to water consumption charges so there will be no impact from the change in the discount.

Why are sewerage charges increasing?

Sewerage charges will increase by 2% per annum to help maintain the projected revenue needed to ensure the sustainability of council’s sewerage services in the long-term. Keeping charges in line with increases to costs will reduce the need for general rates revenues to subsidise the sewerage operations. It will also mean that there will be sufficient funds for future capital works and maintenance.

Why is the discount incentive on rates and utility charges being reduced to 5%?

The money saved by reducing the discount incentive has helped us to keep the rates and charges increases as low as possible. The discount is comparable to other Queensland councils and CHRC remains one of the few that offer the incentive for both general rates and utility charges – most councils only offer the discount on general rates.

Can you show me an example of how the changes might impact my bill?

Each individual ratepayer will have a different circumstance based on their property details. However, as a basic example the table below shows how an average residential property’s rates and charges could be affected by this year’s changes.*Please note the general rates increase could be higher or lower than this depending on the individual property. However, all increases are capped at 10%. For information on how rates are calculated see the fact sheet below.

How do our rates compare to other regions?

It is very difficult to make any meaningful comparison between rates levied by different councils. Although councils do provide similar services, the level and type of services will vary and this will impact on the amount of general rates being charged. Councils also have different financial goals, plans, and visions for their communities which are used when setting their budgets and rates.

Another factor is the mix of revenue types available to councils and this is a combination of rates, user fees and charges, government grants and assistance, and business unit income. Council’s with higher levels of income other than rates may be able to charge lower rates.

How is council helping those suffering financially as a result of COVID-19?

Council has adopted a new hardship policy to provide assistance to property owners and customers of council who are finding it difficult to meet their payment obligations as a result of financial hardship. The policy sets out options for those in difficulty stemming from unforeseen circumstances such as loss of job or income due to a pandemic or other natural disaster, or other circumstances beyond the property owner’s control.

Those in financial difficulty will be able to apply for relief in accordance with the policy. If property owners or customers are experiencing hardship, they should contact council’s call centre to discuss their situation and options.

This simplified infographic may help explain how land valuations are used in a formula to calculate rates.

Head to our Agendas & Minutes page to view the special budget meeting agenda, which contains the budget papers.

For media enquiries, please visit our Media Basket page.

Emergency Management Dashboard

Up-to-date weather, road closure and disaster information.