Building on success: 2022/23 Budget builds on long term ‘no frills’ approach

28 Jun 2022 |

The Southern Downs Regional Council this week adopted a balanced, ‘no frills’ budget, reflecting a firm commitment to supporting a recovering community amid a challenging economic climate.

The 2022/23 Budget continues to focus on Council’s core business of roads, rates and rubbish, with due consideration to extensive flood repairs, addressing critical aging infrastructure and delivering a significant capital works program that enhances the liveability of the Southern Downs.

Mayor Vic Pennisi said the 2022/23 Budget was realistic and took a tactical approach to managing the increasing cost of living while providing essential services with a minimal and reasonable rate rise to rate payers.

“Council must continue to deliver to the community the essential services that it cannot deliver for itself, with a financial and realistic mindfulness of the current recovery climate from flooding, bushfire, pandemic and drought,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“Council has adopted a balanced, ‘no frills’ budget that addresses costly infrastructure upgrades facing the region, a hefty repair bill following recent flood events and the delivery of essential daily services. 

"The budget is an extension of the groundwork achieved during 2021/22 and as we move into 2022/23, we focus on the long game as we cannot achieve everything that we need to overnight – tough decisions need to be made to prioritise the deliverables that do not compromise the liveability of our ratepayers.

“With tight funds and stacking demands, we need to diversify funding sources and expand income streams and we will advocate to all levels of Governments for grant funding to achieve our goals.

“Water security continues to progress and the recent announcement by the Queensland Government to build a pipeline from Toowoomba to Warwick is welcomed. We also continue to work with all stakeholders in relation to delivering Emu Swamp Dam.

“We continue to focus on turning our waste management into a separate business unit so that we can better manage the escalating costs of doing business in this area. Waste has become a heavily regulated business and our focus has changed also with regard to identifying innovative efficiencies in this space. 

“Importantly, several significant projects will take off in 2022/23. The tender for the Warwick Saleyards design will be released soon and we look forward to delivering this project in the future. The Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery and Library expansion project will also take shape and will be another step in Council delivering on Art and Culture Precincts.

”We have been able to keep rates under CPI at a collective rate rise of 4.69% overall and 3.85% in general rates. Given the extraordinary repairs to flood damaged roads and unrecoverable costs from external funding streams, the budget will still deliver a small surplus.”

Key highlights include:

• $46m capital works program across 88 projects

• $1.8m debt reduction

• $5.1m flood repairs works

• $900k committed to supporting local community, cultural and environmental initiatives

The 2022/23 Budget is available at

Last edited date 05 Sep 2022