Council budget supports community in time of need

Supporting our community to recover from the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the cornerstone of Sunshine Coast Council’s 2020/21 budget adopted today (June 25).

“This year has been like no other – and that is why our council’s $782 million 2020-2021 budget is squarely focussed on supporting our community and local businesses to get back on their feet and thrive,” Mayor Mark Jamieson said.

“As we seek to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, our council has left no stone unturned as we fulfil our role as guardians of the wellbeing of our community.

“Council has taken every opportunity with this year’s budget to assist our residents with their recovery efforts, enabling them to get back to using council facilities and services and priming our regional economy so local businesses can rebuild.

“Reducing pressure on ratepayers at this time has been our number one priority.

“With this in mind, council’s budget provides financial relief for General Rate ratepayers through a $35 COVID rebate on the July rate notice.

“Council has activated our $5 million Disaster Rehabilitation Reserve – which we had the foresight to establish five years ago.

“Our community is facing an unprecedented challenge with this pandemic – and so it is more than appropriate to take this step at this time.

“The rebate will be in addition to the existing on-time rates payment discount council offers and pensioners will also continue to receive the pensioner rebate.

“While there is an overall general rates increase of two per cent this year and the cost to collect a standard 240 litre wheelie bin will increase by $10.50, when the COVID rebate and on-time payment discount are applied, most ratepayers on the minimum general rate will pay the same as last year.

“We have also taken the decision not to increase our Environment, Transport and Heritage levies this year, which will remain at $76, $44 and $13, respectively.”

Council’s budget includes an increase in the community grants program from $3 million last financial year to $4.5 million.

“This significant funding will enable council to partner and support not-for-profit groups to manage their recovery from the impacts of COVID-19,” Mayor Jamieson said.

The budget also includes a $243 million investment in capital projects.

“Our capital works program delivers better infrastructure and facilities for our residents and at the same time, provides work for local trades and other businesses, helps keep local people employed and keeps money circulating through our economy,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our capital works projects are estimated to provide more than $300 million in benefits to our Sunshine Coast economy and support well over 1000 jobs.”

Council’s $243 million capital works investment for 2020/21 includes:

$95.7 million on transportation and stormwater projects

$51.5 million on community, sporting facilities and other public facilities

$11.6 million on parks, gardens and public amenities

$14.7 million on waste management

$36.7 million to complete the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion

$11.9 million in the Maroochydore City Centre.

Mayor Jamieson said council would continue its commitment to major projects which would help drive a stronger local economy, generate employment and provide access to new services for the community.

“The new runway is open and the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project is on schedule to be completed in full by the end of this year, with $36.7 million allocated as part of the total project delivery budget,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This project will deliver enormous long-term benefits to the Sunshine Coast, including $4.1 billion to the local economy by 2040 and generating around 2230 local jobs.

“Council will also allocate $40 million to start construction of the new City Hall in the Maroochydore City Centre, which will generate an estimated 300 jobs at a time when this employment stimulus is needed most in our region.

“While our budget is focused on helping our community recover from COVID-19, we haven’t overlooked our strong commitment to protecting our environment and natural assets.

“The Environment Levy at $76 will raise $11.28 million to continue to support the implementation of council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy.

“We will continue to support our environmental partnerships and grants, education and other incentives and support the purchase and management of land for conservation, catchment coastal rehabilitation projects.

“The Heritage Levy will remain at $13 and raise $1.9 million to continue to support a wide ranges of initiatives to promote our region’s heritage stories and assets.

“It will also support community museums and historical societies and cultural heritage projects developed in collaboration with Kabi Kabi, Jinibara and descendants of Australian South Sea Islander peoples.”

The Transport levy will remain at $44, allowing $6.2 million to be directed towards the detailed business case for the region’s Mass Transit solution in partnership with the State Government; development of a five-year Travel Behaviour Change program; the continuation of Council Link and Flexilink services which connect Conondale to Maleny and Peachester to Beerwah; new bus shelters for high use locations; and expansion of the RideScore Active Schools Program trial.

Major projects:

Road/cycleway network

$15 million to finalise construction of the Brisbane Road multi-deck car park

$14 million to continue the Mooloolaba Transport Corridor Upgrade project along Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba

$2.5 million to finalise the transport corridor upgrade at Parklands Boulevard, Little Mountain

$1.4 million to construct a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge on Stringybark Road, Sippy Downs

$1.7 million to upgrade the existing gravel road to an appropriate sealed road standard at Kiamba Road, Kiamba

$1.7 million to upgrade the Arundel Avenue, Mill Lane intersection in Nambour

$977,000 to upgrade Havana Road East near Coolum High School to deliver parking and pedestrian crossing improvements

$865,000 to finalise the widening of Diamond Valley Road, Diamond Valley

$655,000 to continue the road upgrade works at McGilchrist Road, Eudlo

Streetscaping

$1.3 million to continue the Cribb Street Landsborough streetscape upgrade

$2.6 million for the first stage of Mooloolaba foreshore upgrade

Sport and recreation

$3 million to continue developing the sporting complex at Meridan Plains

$925,000 to finalise the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex upgrade

$540,000 to construct a new sports clubhouse in Baringa

$500,000 to upgrade the showers and toilets at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium

$1 million to deliver an upgraded aquatic splash park and other facilities in Nambour

$160,000 to replace the lighting at Palmwoods Rugby League Club

Coast, Canals and Waterways

$1.2 million to continue the replacement of groynes along the Maroochy River at Maroochydore

$250,000 to replace a range of groynes at the Esplanade at Golden Beach

$210,000 to replace the locks associated with the Parrearra canals

2020/21 Budget – Annual Rate Notice for a residential owner-occupied property on the Minimum General Rate* (51% of ratepayers are on the minimum general rate)

Annual rates 2019/202020/21 Variation $
General rates $1243.20$1269.00 $25.80
240 litre wheelie bin$298.60$309.10$10.50
COVID-19 Rebate -$35.00-$35.00
Environment Levy$76.00$76.00$0.00
Transport Levy$44.00$44.00 $0.00
Heritage Levy$13.00$13.00 $0.00
Total Rates and Charges$1674.80$1676.10$1.30
Discount (general rate only)-$62.15 -$63.45 -$1.30
NET AMOUNT$1612.65$1612.65 $0.00

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