The Goondiwindi Regional Council Budget 2019/2020 was adopted this morning at a Special Budget Meeting held in the Council Chambers.
Here are highlights from Mayor Graeme Scheu’s address.
“This year, Council has managed to apply a general rate rise of 1.98% after the early payment discount and is working towards a deficit of $314,702, in line with long-term forecasts. We believe this to be a very reasonable target in the current economic climate. I understand that some residents may be facing financial pressures and I would encourage those residents to contact our rates staff early to discuss potential payment arrangements.
The current Budget will see approximately $20 million of external funding brought into the region through major contract works and government grants and subsidies. The work that these funds create is very important for delivering Council services and the wider economy of our region. Your council staff should be commended for their hard work in securing this funding for our region.
Council’s priority for this and recent Budgets has been to plan for the sustainable future of our region while ensuring that services to the community and infrastructure are maintained at the appropriate level, in line with community expectation.
One major change to our region that has been carefully reflected in the Budget is the introduction of the Queensland Government Waste Levy from 1 July 2019. The levy will require drastic changes to how we handle waste in the Goondiwindi region.
Council must put in place processes to collect $75 from every tonne of commercial waste sent to landfill.
As a result of this state levy, we must implement changes to the waste collection facilities that Council manages. New waste transfer stations will be constructed in Bungunya, Talwood, Toobeah and Yelarbon at a cost of more than $1 million. A new $860,000 waste transfer station and weighbridge will be constructed at Inglewood. Around 75% of this cost will go back to our community through local contractors and tradies.
The annual domestic garbage service will see a $20 increase to $315 per year. Commercial services will increase to $355 per year.
As I’m sure residents are aware, our water resources are under particular pressure. Council has had to increase the cost of potable water from $1.28 per thousand litres to $1.41 per thousand litres for the 2019-20 financial year. Standard water connections will increase by $18 to $350 per year. It is likely that some form of restriction is to be introduced in the immediate future as Council looks to extend the life of the existing supply.
Over the next 12 months, Council will deliver one of its largest investment programs in water infrastructure. Some of the projects in that program include:
Talwood reservoir expansion and plant works $1,010,000
Yelarbon reservoir expansion and pressure works $1,030,000
Texas treatment plant works $ 530,000
Inglewood treatment plant works $ 440,000
Goondiwindi filter replacements $ 665,000
Water main replacements $ 500,000
Council’s connected sewerage fee will increase from $425 to $435 per year.
Other Capital Projects
Roads remain a key focus for Council; major capital works investments over the next year will include $950,000 for the continued sealing of Goodar and Daymar-Weengallon Roads and $400,000 for shoulder works on Minnel, Talwood-Mungindi and Riverton Roads.
Council will also spend $350,000 on drainage and levee repair works in Goondiwindi and $880,000 on the Yelarbon Sewerage system.