BIG CHANGES: Cr Gavin Jones and Mayor Keith Campbell say the South Burnett Regional Council region were on the road to having one of the better road networks in Queensland.
BIG CHANGES: Cr Gavin Jones and Mayor Keith Campbell say the South Burnett Regional Council region were on the road to having one of the better road networks in Queensland. Jessica McGrath

Smoother roads a year on from council rate hike

SOUTH Burnett Regional Council are confident the results can be seen from last year's decision to bury the road levy in the general rates bill.

Roads portfolio holder Cr Gavin Jones said the council staff had been working hard to improve the roads around the South Burnett.

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"They are getting better and better," he said.

He announced 100 roads which were scheduled for patrol grading in June and July, during the general council meeting on June 12.

A further 126 roads are scheduled for the council's roadside slashing program and line markings will be completed in Murgon, Kingaroy and Nanango this month.

Another 18 roads will undertake gravel resheeting and heavy formation grading over the next two months.

"Every gravel road will at least have one grader right through our three levels," Cr Jones said.

This vast road works program comes after the council announced changes in their 2018-19 budget last year.

The standalone levy of $200 per year that was charged equally to all ratepayers no longer exists.

Instead, the cost was spread across the various rate categories, and the value was tied to the land.

This meant those owning rural or more expansive residential and industrial land would pay more than residential home-owners.

The South Burnett Times reported some farmers saw a reduction of about $40 per year, whereas other farmers would pay an extra $20-$50 per year or an extra $500-1000 per year.

Mayor Keith Campbell said it was good to reflect on what has happened as a consequence of the road levy changes.

"It was a bold decision made in the approach to the roads," he said.

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They were now receiving positive feedback regarding the road quality 12 months on.

"The roads were a big priority that needed to be tended to and we found a way to deal with it," he said.

"Yes it did represent a little bit of pain with the roll in of the road levy."

The council have spent $5,356 on road maintenance across the South Burnett to date.

The 2019/20 budget will be released next Monday, as the council look at another rate increase.

"We are currently looking at a 1.9 per cent increase to the income from the general rates," Cr Campbell said.

South Burnett

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