A budget for the future of the Sunshine Coast
  • Wednesday 26 June 2013

Sunshine Coast Council has adopted a budget that gets the balance right between cutting costs and giving businesses the confidence to invest, which creates jobs.

The $538 million budget includes a Capital Works Program worth $109 million, which focusses on renewing existing assets and delivering quality infrastructure and services to the community.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said it was always going to be a tough budget due to unprecedented challenges.

“This is a budget for the future; we’ve balanced the books despite the financial fallout from de-amalgamation, rising costs and falling revenue,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This budget is all about getting the fundamentals right—we’re reducing debt and increasing cash, which allows us to repay our loans and invest in infrastructure.

“We know some people are finding it difficult to make ends meet and we have done everything we can to keep rates and waste increases as low as possible.

“That includes an organisation review to improve council’s efficiency and effectiveness, which will lead to job losses in the organisation.

“Rates will go up by 5 per cent and waste charges will increase by 7.4 per cent—that means an average ratepayer will pay $1.22 extra a week.”

Highlights of the budget include:

  • $109 million Capital Works Program
  • $11.8 million for economic development
  • $37.5 million for roads and bridges
  • $13.2 million for libraries and galleries
  • $29 million for environmental programs
  • $7.8 million for events and grants
  • Levies unchanged
  • Retention of the early bird and pensioner discounts

Deputy Mayor and Finance Portfolio Councillor Chris Thompson said the budget prepares the region for the promising times ahead, led by projects such as the Oceanside Health Hub.

“Council has maintained its focus on economic development so the region makes the most of its existing opportunities and attracts new ones.”