The Southern Downs Regional Council adopted its 2019-2020 Annual Budget today, Monday 3 June, saying it has delivered “the lowest general rate rise in more than a decade”.
The council said in a statement that general rates will increase by “just two per cent, the lowest rise since 2008, and SDRC will extend the early payment discount period from 30 to 60 days to assist residents impacted by ongoing drought conditions”.
“Utility charges for water, sewer and waste will rise by only 2.75 per cent, the same increase as the 2018-2019 financial year,” the statement said.
“The 2019-20 budget forecasts an operating surplus of $95,000 and will further reduce Council’s debt by $1.3 million.”
Mayor Tracy Dobie said the 2019-20 budget “looks towards the region’s future and will build upon Council’s strong financial foundation to help the region grow and prosper”.
“This council’s sound financial management and careful planning over the course of its term means we are able to deliver our community the lowest rate rise in more than 10 years,” Cr Dobie said.
“A $35.8 million capital works program will maintain and upgrade the region’s ageing infrastructure, investing in our communities for the long-term.
“The budget strikes a balance between working towards long-term financial stability and delivering the key services and projects the region needs to continue to grow, prosper and reach its full potential.
“Council will also continue to support many community initiatives, including our vibrant arts and events scene, providing funding through our Community Grants Program.
“Council’s improving financial position has also led to council successfully securing millions in grants and funding that will allow council to deliver key projects.
“Council uses these grants and government funding towards projects that enhance the liveability of the region, which encourages more people and businesses to relocate here and invest in the Southern Downs.
“I would like to thank the community for their positive feedback and contributing to this important budget that will help shape our region into the future.
“Council developed the budget after consulting with Southern Downs residents at six information sessions across the region and calling for feedback which led to 43 submissions from the community.
“SDRC has incorporated the community’s feedback into the 2019-20 Budget which delivers strong financial management and responsible planning while still offering important services and projects for a fourth straight year.”
For more information on Southern Downs Regional Council’s 2019-20 Budget visit sdrc.qld.gov.au or contact SDRC on 1300 697 372.