Budget delivers on sustainable vision
  • Tuesday 30 June 2009

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot says council’s budget for the next financial year is focused on delivering outcomes to support its sustainable vision.

The Mayor outlined the key features of the $750 million 2009/10 budget at a special meeting today, saying council would invest in the community and protect local jobs with plans to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on capital works in the next 12 months.

Cr Abbot said it was the first truly regional budget following amalgamation and would allow council to put many of its plans into action.

He said council was proud to deliver a balanced operational budget in a tough economic environment, which included falling revenues, reduced state subsidies and rising costs for water, power and fuel.

Cr Abbot said despite these additional challenges, the rise in general rates across the region was limited to 6.3%.

“The average bottom line increase for rural properties will be $75 per annum, which includes $20 for the new transport levy,” he said.

“For urban areas it will be $160 and almost half of that will be due to increases in the cost of water plus the transport levy.

“We have worked very hard to find savings and we’ll be shaving $13 million off our operating costs over the next year.

“We’ve done our best to ensure our ratepayers get value for money and, at the same time, we want to do what we can to boost the local economy.

“We plan to deliver $250 million in capital works next year and a lot of that work will be contracted out to the private sector so we can keep those funds circulating through our region.”

Cr Abbot said council had allocated more than $70 million in transport capital spending, including funds for sealing roads and more money for pedestrian and cycle-friendly facilities.

He said council would also develop a region-wide transport strategy to bolster its case for financial support from the State and Federal Governments.

“We’re also putting money into waste initiatives, parks, gardens and reserves, community facilities and coastal and waterways infrastructure,” Cr Abbot said.

“Many of the projects outlined in this budget are about moving us closer to our goal of becoming Australia’s most sustainable region.

“We know we’ve still got a long way to go but we’re on our way.”