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Circular Head Council Expected to Deliver Lean Budget

13 June 2014

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said this year’s Annual Plan and Budget Estimates was all about ensuring Council continues to deliver on its current services, while recognising the reduced income that has resulted from the Federal Budget.

Council will be considering the adoption of the 2014/15 Annual Plan and Budget Estimates at Thursday night’s Council meeting, which provides for a general rate increase of 2.63%.

“Each year the Council embarks on a budget process that is complex in nature, but the questions behind it are quite simple,” Mayor Quilliam said.

“What infrastructure does Council have to maintain, and at what level; what services does Council have to offer under legislation, and what services does the community want Council to provide?”

Mayor Quilliam said the budget was a balancing act “it is a trade-off between those questions, all guided by how much people are willing or able to pay.”

“The delivery of this year’s Federal Budget has seen a reduction in the money that Council receives from Financial Assistance Grants, and will do for several years to come,” Mayor Quilliam said.

 “In light of this, Council has adopted a conservative budget in terms of new projects for this coming year.

“This year’s budget will focus on looking after existing infrastructure and delivering essential services, which is evidenced by expenditures of about $5.57 million on roads, bridges and drainage, about $1.88 million in waste management and collection and about $1.34 million spending in reserves, parks and gardens and recreation facilities in a total budget of nearly $13.7 million.”

 

Mayor Quilliam said Council’s major exercise for the 2014/15 year will be the development of a 10 year strategic plan, which will help determine what the community priorities are in terms of infrastructure and service delivery into the future. Involvement by all is encouraged.

“Balancing community expectations with available funding in an environment that is subject to many external influences is a daily challenge,” Mayor Quilliam said.

“Collaboration with the Circular Head community to set a sustainable future is a must.”

Council’s existing resource sharing arrangement with Waratah-Wynyard Council will also continue to provide access to essential skills otherwise not affordable to Council in its own right.  

As a result of this agreement $170,000 has been secured from the Australian Government for both Councils to implement training and professional development for our employees.  This training will complement work already being undertaken by all departments in asset management, financial management and community service standards for the future.

In terms of other fees and charges, the rural collection of waste (fortnightly) increase is from $85 to $91, urban collection (weekly) increase is from $127 to $132, the waste utility increases from $61 to $63 and recycling from $55 to $57.

Key initiatives and highlights in the 2014/15 Annual Plan and Budget Estimates include:

  • Part 1 implementation of the Smithton Landscape Development Plan
  • $824,000 in rural road pavement improvements
  • $555,000 for bridge replacements
  • $801,033 for road resheeting
  • $35,000 towards energy efficiency initiatives
  • $150,000 for parks and reserves improvements
  • $85,000 to renew netball/tennis court surfaces, and
  • $70,000 to improve Council’s stormwater network
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