Mayor’s 2019-2020 Annual Budget delivers lowest general rate rise in more than a decade
3 June 2019
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie today delivered Council’s Annual
Budget with the lowest rate increase for the region in more than 10 years.
The Budget delivers the lowest general rate increase since
Southern Downs Regional Council was amalgamated in 2008.
The Mayor said the Budget reflects significant development across
many sectors in the region and promotes future growth and sustainability.
“Our goal is to ensure we are providing quality services and
replacing and upgrading infrastructure in the region without burdening our
ratepayers. This Budget strikes a very good balance,” Cr Dobie said.
“The Southern Downs
has been severely affected by drought over the last two years and this is
having an impact on the whole region, but significant development is continuing
in the areas of renewable energy, aged care, transport and the food processing
“Activities such as
these support future growth of our region and provide employment opportunities
for our residents. The
Southern Downs is a great place to live, work and play even when we are in
“With the lowest General
Rate rise in more than 10 years, Council will need to carefully manage
finances, but a solid financial foundation means we can still invest money into
infrastructure reserves while decreasing our debt even further.”
General rates will rise by just 2 per cent and Council will also
extend the early payment discount period from 30 to 60 days to assist residents
financially impacted by ongoing drought conditions.
Utility charges for water, sewer and waste will increase by only
2.75 per cent, the same amount as the 2018-2019 Financial Year, and will go
towards maintaining and upgrading key infrastructure.
Projected rates increases in the Long Term Financial Forecast
remain at 3 per cent, indicating Council’s intention to continue to restrict expenditure.
$12.59 million will be spent on roads, bridges, drainage and
footpaths across the entire region, while major projects include the $2.2
million replacement of Palmer Bridge at Freestone, sealing works at Connolly
Dam for $950,000, as well as gravel resheeting of Goldfields and Pikedale Roads
for almost $1.2 million.
Council’s financial sustainability has also been supported by the
enormous success Council has had in securing government funding.
“This Council has been extremely successful in securing grant
funding to financially assist the delivery of significant projects for the
region,” Cr Dobie aid.
SDRC will dedicate $35.58 million to capital works projects in the
region to ensure that Council continues to provide essential services for
“The 2019-20 Annual Budget sees the largest capital works program
for many years. With aging infrastructure across the region it is critical that
adequate funds are spent on renewing, upgrading and maintaining these assets,”
Cr Dobie said.
SDRC’s 2029-2020 Annual Budget was adopted at a Council Special
For more information on Southern Downs Regional Council’s 2019-20
Budget visit sdrc.qld.gov.au or contact SDRC on 1300 697 372.