Council Budget Under Pressure
  • Tuesday 24 June 2008

“It is almost the perfect storm” said Mayor Bob Abbot today at the latest Council Budget Meeting. He was commenting on the pressure the new Council is facing in finalising its first budget.

“There are some real challenges we face, most of which are beyond our control”.

“For example, like all households, we are facing major cost increases from the petrol price surge. Every cent that petrol increases adds more than $28,000 to the Council’s bottom line in direct costs.”

“The Council uses about 2.8 Million litres of diesel and unleaded petrol every year for its graders, trucks and vehicles. While we need to find ways to reduce our fuel consumption, we also need to recognise that fuel has risen more than 40 cents in the last few months alone.”

“On top of that, materials such as bitumen which is an oil based product are also having rapid price increases.”

“At the same time, the State Government has short changed the new Sunshine Coast Council in relation to the value it paid for our water assets. The Council will receive compensation of $92 Million but even the State Government Auditors signed off that the value of those water assets was $112 Million – a short-fall of $20 Million.”

“All of this has happened less than three months into the amalgamation.”

“While we are still on track to deliver a budget by 3 July, I wouldn’t want the community to underestimate the challenge this new Council faces.”