Minimum general rates have climbed 4.65 per cent under Redland City Council’s $430m budget, meaning the average residential owner-occupier will fork out an extra $1.02 per week over the next financial year.
Mayor Karen Williams – handing down her final budget before the 2024 election – announced the council would spend $135.7m on capital projects in 2023/24, more than half of which would go towards roads and infrastructure projects.
She also unveiled a $500,000 civic support package which will allow community groups to apply for funding to address immediate community needs, including the supply of food and essential household items.
Other spending announced in the pre-election budget included $4.8m towards council’s digital transformation initiative, $365,000 to extend the solar bins program across the city and $2m for island green sealing – taking the total project spend since 2016 to $19m.
The capital spend for 2023/24 financial year also includes $40.5m for the continuation of the congestion-busting Wellington Street/Panorama Drive duplication and $5.48m for an upgrade to Double Jump Road at Victoria Point.
A total of $9.92m has been allocated to fund the next stage of the Birkdale Community Precinct and $8.61m for the ongoing redevelopment of the Weinam Creek hub at Redland Bay.
Cr Williams also announced a $1.5m wastewater subsidy package for 2023/24, with ratepayers to receive a credit on their quarterly rates bills over the course of the financial year to help ease cost of living impacts.
She said council had adopted a projected operating deficit of about $2.1m to directly address the day-to-day pressures facing the community.
“During tough economic times, there is a balance that has to be struck between being proactive and reactive to the financial climate. The 2023/24 budget achieves this.”
The minimal general rates increase amounts to an additional $1.02 per week – or about $53 across the financial year – for the average residential owner-occupier in rating category 1a.
Brisbane and Logan councils adopted smaller rates increases in their budgets for 2023/24, but Cr Williams pointed out that those areas had a larger rate base than Redlands.
She said council had worked tirelessly to keep rates as low as possible for residents by scrutinising costs.
“Council has been at the mercy of the current financial climate,” Cr Williams said.
“But we have, and will continue, to do all that is possible to absorb the impacts that are being felt, rather than passing them on to ratepayers.
“Council has maintained our same level of services by driving efficiencies and finding other ways of delivering on standards.
“We appreciate our older residents and pensioners, and this budget includes total pensioner rebates of approximately $3.6m.
“Pensioner remission will continue at $335 per year for a full-time pensioner, and $167.50 for a part-pensioner.
“This year’s community budget is delivered from a culture of responsible government.
“It is a budget that is responsive to what our community has asked of us, and it is a budget that is respectful of our community’s money and their resources.”
The budget was handed down at a special meeting on Monday.
REDLAND CITY COUNCIL BUDGET RUNDOWN
- $430 million investment in Redlands
- The minimum general rate will increase by 4.65 per cent – or $1.02 per week – for rating category 1a, an average owner-occupier in Redland City
- Projected operating deficit of about $2.1 million
- Capital expenditure program of $135.7 million
- Total pensioner rebates of approximately $3.6 million
- $1.5 million wastewater subsidy for ratepayers
- New $500,000 Civic Support Fund