The Central Highlands Regional Council has today adopted its $218 million 2019-2020 budget.
The new budget contains a $72.3 million capital works program, with $16 million committed to the resurfacing of the Emerald Airport runway and $9.51 million for rehabilitation and re-sheeting works on council’s sealed and unsealed road network.
Various improvements will also be made to community infrastructure and facilities, with 280 capital projects planned for completion.
Big-ticket operational items include $1.5 million for the preparation of a business case investigating upgrades to the Capricorn Highway to Codenwarra Road (Vince Lester bridge) and $22.6 million in rural roads maintenance.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said this budget continues its responsive strategy to prevailing economic conditions, with an overall average increase of 3% in general rates.
‘Council has adopted an operating deficit this year as we have made a conscious and critical decision to invest in the region’s future now,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘This will ensure the budget returns to an operating surplus and balanced position in the long-term.
‘Setting the budget is always a difficult balancing act of managing expectations for council, running this business like a business, and positioning community services and operations to match the changing economic environment and aspirations for the region.
‘This budget sticks to those principles and shows we remain committed to providing value and creating liveable regional communities.’
Due to climatic impacts and recent water infrastructure upgrades, water consumption and access charges will increase by an average of 4.8%.
Sewerage charges will increase by $25 per annum to return costs associated with the new Black Gully Sewerage Treatment Plant; a project that represents a long-term investment to serve the community of Emerald for at least the next 30 years.
Waste management charges will increase by 3% while the full implication of the Queensland Government’s drive to reduce waste to landfill is considered and the compliance requirements of the Department of Environment and Science are met. This year a waste levy will be collected on behalf of the state government for waste that goes to landfills. An advance payment from the state government will ensure the levy has no direct impact on households.
Click here for more information about the Central Highlands Regional Council Budget 2019-2020.