BUDGET TIME: South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt and Mayor Keith Campbell discuss the 2019/20 council budget.
BUDGET TIME: South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt and Mayor Keith Campbell discuss the 2019/20 council budget. Jessica McGrath

Council budget's responsible, affordable, achievable: Mayor

COUNCIL staff have exhausted every avenue to try and minimise the budget's impact on South Burnett ratepayers.

This is the message Councillor Gavin Jones repeated during the 2019/20 South Burnett Regional Council budget meeting today.

"This has been a very difficult budget, the hardest one I've had to deal with in my term of council," Cr Jones said.

"We're well aware of the impact on certain sections of our community."

South Burnett ratepayers can expect a rates increase of up to 1.9 per cent for differential general rates.

Mayor Keith Campbell said the $66 million operational budget and the $20.8 million capital budget was responsible, affordable and achievable.

"Managing the diverse expectations of all of our residents, meeting the delivery of the essential and taking into account the affordability of the rates is not an easy task, yet one that council works extremely hard to balance," Cr Campbell said.

"Council aims to invest in projects and services that are in the best interest for our community and region."

The council's total rates and utility charges revenue is projected to increase by 4.04 per cent over the next financial year, compared to the charges levied in 2018/19.

One of the biggest changes in charges will be the commercial refuse collection which will increase by 29 per cent.

This is due to the introduction of the State Waste Levy which will come into effect on July 1.

Rates dollars will be spent on various council services throughout the region.

These include 29 per cent towards community services, 11 per cent for waste and environment services, 22 per cent for utilities like water and sewerage, 20 per cent on infrastructure and 18 per cent for general operations.

The council has been preparing this budget since late November 2018, and this will be the last budget for this current term of council.

This is also the final budget for the general manager for finance, Lester Schumacher, before his retirement.

INCREASES FOR RATES AND CHARGES

Differential general rates: 1.9 per cent

Water access charge: 4 per cent

Water consumption charge: 1.5 per cent

Sewerage charge: 6 per cent

Domestic refuse collection: 2.5 per cent

Commercial refuse collection: 29 per cent

Community rescue and evacuation levy: no change

Rural fire levy: no change

Waste management levy: 6 per cent

Read more about the South Burnett Regional Council's 2019/20 budget here.

South Burnett

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