HAVE YOUR SAY on Council’s 2024-25 Draft Budget

12 Jun 2024 |
13 June 2024

Southern Downs Regional Council invites the community to have a say in shaping the future of our region by providing feedback on the 2024/25 Draft Budget before 5pm on Friday 28 June 2024.

In releasing the draft, Mayor Melissa Hamilton emphasised the significance of community involvement in the budgeting process, saying that the 2024/25 Draft Budget reflects Council’s commitment to building vibrant, liveable communities in Southern Downs whilst remaining realistic about the cost of living pressures.

“The 2024/25 Draft budget reflects Council’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our residents while ensuring sustainable growth and development,” Mayor Hamilton said.

“Community input is invaluable in helping Council prioritise and allocate resources effectively.

“This budget is designed to strike a balance between maintaining essential services and investing in the future of our region.

“By working together, we can ensure that the Southern Downs remains a vibrant and sustainable community for years to come.

“I encourage residents to review the 2024/25 Draft Budget documents and participate in this important process.”

Key Highlights of the 2024/25 Draft Budget include:

Rates and Financial Management
A review of Council’s general rating system found that the rate burden placed on households was significantly higher than the commercial and industrial sector and that rebalancing was required to ensure fair and equitable rating outcomes across the community.

The average overall increase in general rates is 2.5%, which is well below the rise in Council’s cost index of 3.9% and the CPI increase of 3.4%.

For residential lots with a rateable value of less than $175,000, the average increase is 1.45%, with 84% of these households (9,655) having no change in rates. For residential lots with a rateable value higher than $175,000, nearly half have a decrease in rates or no change. Overall, only a quarter of the region’s households will have an increase in their rates, and the 2024/25 Draft Budget proposes to soften these increases with rate capping to smooth the increase over a few years.

Waste Management Enhancements
The Waste Management Charge will increase to $160 per rateable assessment per annum, supporting waste service administration, facility management and waste minimisation initiatives. The Waste and Recycling Collection Charge will see a 3.5% increase, ensuring continued service improvement and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Water Security and Pricing
Water security remains a priority, with the 2024/25 Draft Budget addressing financial sustainability through a 9.25% increase in water access charge revenue.

Wastewater Pricing
For the 2024/25 financial year, fees are proposed to increase by 3.5% which similar to last financial year, with the exception of the “subdivider sewer connection”.

Capital Works Program
The 2024/25 Draft Budget commits more than $47 million to 62 projects across works, waste management, parks and operations, general projects, water and sewerage.

Your feedback is important
View the draft budget and comment online at https://www.sdrc.qld.gov.au/living-here/have-your-say. Hard copies are also available at Council’s Administration Buildings and Libraries. Email your feedback to mail@sdrc.qld.gov.au.

Consultation opens: Thursday 13 June 2024
Consultation closes: 5pm Thursday 28 June 2024

The draft budget will be presented to Councillors for adoption at a Council meeting on Wednesday 24 July 2024.

Last edited date 12 Jul 2024