Charters Towers Regional Council passed the 2017/2018 Budget at its statutory budget meeting, held 31 July 2017. Mayor of Charters Towers Regional Council, Cr Liz Schmidt advised that the focus this year was towards responsible budgeting, concentrating upon consistent, and reliable service delivery, with a priority of improved water and roads infrastructure.
Cr Schmidt explained that “Council currently has a robust financial position, with projected remaining cash funds at the end of 2017/18 providing a strong position for sustaining capital replacements and future decisions.
We are currently determining operational efficiencies, through the implementation of an enterprise computer system, and a review of the organisation and its structure, reflecting Council’s hope to ensure that the organisation’s service provision meets community expectation. This is in contemplation that Council must balance all considerations against the need to be financially sustainable”.
The budget includes an unprecedented capital expenditure of $27.7million, funded by $10.3m of capital grants and loan funds of $10m, to improve water capital project ($14.6 million) and road developments ($5.8 million). To cover, the day to day activities and maintenance work undertaken by Council, $27 million has been committed to the organisation’s operating expenses.
Cr Schmidt further stated that “Council is aware of the intense financial pressures facing the Region, therefore the average rate increase for a property with all services, would be limited to 2.8% for the 2017/2018 financial year. Based on the impact of the introduction of a two-part water tariff, many properties will also see their overall rates decrease."
The implementation of the new two-part water tariff not only encourages water-wise usage, but also introduces an equitable user pays system.
“This budget allows for Council to maintain stability in its financial resources, whilst promoting strategic innovation for long-term gains” said Cr Schmidt.
The next twelve months will see many major projects continue, if not come to fruition, including:
- Water Infrastructure Upgrade Program;
- Charters Towers Tennis Courts;
- Water main replacements;
- Towers Hill Walking Track;
- Charters Towers Airport runway and ancillary lighting;
- Gill, Bow and Church Street reconstructions;
- Bridge and floodway replacements;
- Flood mitigation works; and
- Contract works for the Department of Transport and Main Roads throughout the Region.
Council’s budget information, and the Community Budget Report 2017/2018 is available from:
DV 31 July 2017