Budget Blues

June 8th, 2012

This from Council…
6 June 2012

Council has started reviewing its finances and developing the 2012-2013 budget, Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell said.

“We have dedicated the best part of the next two weeks to reviewing our finances,” Cr O’Connell said.

“We understand that ratepayers are asking Council to minimise its rates increases and are feeling cost of living pressures, so we are reviewing every item and service to find ways to cut costs and save ratepayers money.

“At the same time as finding savings, we are facing some pretty significant cost increases such as the carbon tax, increasing electricity charges and construction costs.

“We estimate that the carbon tax will conservatively add 1% to our costs so we have to be able to say how we are going to pay for cost increases while maintaining services and our commitment through the capital budget to build a better region.”

Council is also analysing data from the Local Government Association of Queensland which indicates construction costs may rise by 7.5% as a result of the flood restoration works which will have a direct impact on Council costs.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Road and Bridge Index for Queensland also indicates a 3.6% increase in costs for 2012.

Cr O’Connell hoped residents did not confuse CPI increases, which measures increases in food and grocery items, with road and bridge construction costs.

“Construction costs are rising faster than grocery items, pushed on by demand from the resource sector and reconstruction sector as well as increases in carbon tax and electricity charges.”

Now I just can’t help myself. The old Council which the Mayor was a part of, did everything in its power to cut costs and reduce unneccessary services to keep rates down. I don’t expect it will be possible for this Council to not increase rates. In a world where all costs are always rising something has to give. But election promises were made so I am very interested to see what eventuates..

And already the Mayor has highlighted the likelihood that rate rises are inevitable. I can’t help but think… Well of all the Councillors newly elected Cr O’Connell already knew the state of play. Election promises… How much are they really worth!

6 Responses to “Budget Blues”

  1. Jane Hansonon 08 Jun 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Sue, so good to see that you are still going to do your blog!! As for rate in crease all I can say is HA HA HA HA HA HA, as we all said before..ain’t going to be as easy as they thought!!!!

  2. Matt Murphyon 08 Jun 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Good to see you back in the drivers seat Sue :-)

    Only time will tell if Mayor O’Connell can keep his promises, and yes everything always goes up, except for the prices of LCD televisions, so to be realistic, unless the Mayor can get building materials for roads and bridges from LG or SONY, I think he’s fighting a bit of an uphill battle on keeping costs and rates rises to a minimum.

  3. John A Neveon 08 Jun 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Strange as it may seem, rates and taxes don’t worry me, what does, is how the money is spent. I’ve felt for a long time much of our rate and tax money is wasted and government contracts have been too lax, Queensland Health’s pay system is a good example.

    Back to us (FCRC), as sure a night follows day, either our rates will rise or services will decline, or a little of both. Until we have a true user pays system for our rates,
    councils will always be behind the eight ball. Sadly many people expect councils to do for them what they in fact they should do for themselves, again an example is the rubbish on our streets and the household bins that overflow.

    With hindsight JFK got it right when he said “don’t ask what your country can do for you, rather ask, what you can do for your country.

  4. Jane Hansonon 08 Jun 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Well said John. You are totally correct. If we all got off our butts and, instead of waiting for council to send their workers down to clean up, we should be doing it. Why wait for 1 day per year (Clean up Australia Day). I am all for saving some money that can be spent on roads/paths etc by getting my hands dirty. More working bees should be arranged to help clear the weeds and debris from the foreshore etc. We are becoming a lazy nation and want everything done for us. Sue, why are the volunteer clean up days so rarely organised by council? We only had 1 last year, any suggestions? I know there are plenty of people out there who already pick up litter as they walk the beach/parks etc so I’m sure they would put their hands up to be counted.

  5. Sue Brookson 08 Jun 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Jane Council runs the Community Environment Programme where people can volunteer to help maintain open space.. Parks, foreshore etc. if all you wanted to focus on was to clean up litter that could be done also. Council has lots of volunteer programmes and I wanted to start up a Tidy up Roadsides group but it didn’t happen. Once I have my new life sorted hopefully I will have more time to do such things. Wish there were more people like you out there…. Helping and rolling up sleeves rather than just sit and asking for more and more Council help but with less and less money…

  6. Sandraon 12 Jun 2012 at 8:36 am

    So nice to see you still blogging Sue.

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