Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council will proceed with the construction of various community infrastructure and road projects, along with regular maintenance of its assets as part of its draft budget for 2020-21.
The draft Operational Plan, along with Council’s Revenue Policy and Fees and Charges, were endorsed for public exhibition at Council’s meeting on 22 April.
“This draft budget has taken into consideration the impact that COVID-19 and the summer’s bushfires have had on our organisation, however we expect this picture to become clearer over the coming weeks and months,” Queanbeyan-Palerang Mayor, Cr Tim Overall said.
“Despite the impact of COVID-19, we have still been able to put together a budget that delivers an operational surplus of $3.3m and includes more than $167m worth of capital works across our local government area.
“We expect that as COVID-19 restrictions ease that the NSW and Commonwealth Governments will provide a number of stimulus packages to revitalise the economy. We will work with Governments to ensure priority projects are considered. In that context we have earmarked several shovel-ready projects that may proceed with that funding, and contribute to the Covid and bushfire stimulus-led Recovery.”
Some of the highlights of the 2020-21 capital works program include:
- Regional Sporting Complex – stage 1
- Bungendore Sports Hub – stage 1
- Nerriga Rd – continue sealing works
- Bridge replacements – Reedy Creek on Mayfield Lane and Gidleigh Bridge on Gidleigh Lane
- Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct – commence construction
- Monaro St, Queanbeyan – commence refurbishment between Crawford and Lowe Sts
- Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Plant – continue upgrade designs and approvals
- Bungendore roundabout – intersection of Malbon and Molonglo Sts (Kings Highway)
- South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct – infrastructure to connect business park, school and sports precincts
- Offstreet car parks – Bungendore and Braidwood
- Bungendore Flood Risk Management – stage 1
In developing the Operational Plan and Revenue Policy, Council elected not to introduce a $20 charge for Braidwood and Bungendore residents relating to stormwater management works. This will be reconsidered in 2021-22.
Council’s draft Revenue Policy includes the harmonised QPRC rating structure that was required to be implemented following the merger in 2016. The rating structure was subject to community consultation earlier in 2020 and does not increase Council’s overall rating income, but distributes that income more equitably.
“Thanks to the assistance of a community reference panel, we have been able to develop a rating structure that is equitable across the local government area,” Cr Overall said.
“Obviously, this will result in some decreases and increases across our ratepayers, however the increases have been limited where possible and there are assistance measures in place for residents.
“Individual rates will also be affected by a fresh valuation of all properties in NSW by the Valuer General and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s rate peg for 2020-21. Those new unimproved land valuations are expected to be distributed by the Valuer General around the end of April. Ratepayers should direct their enquiries or objections to the Valuer General’s office.”
Council has strengthened its Financial Assistance and Hardship Policy to support ratepayers during this challenging time, particularly those directly impacted by drought, bushfire and COVID. Applications can be made via Council’s website at www.qprc.nsw.gov.au
Comments on the draft Operational Plan, Revenue Policy and Fees and Charges close on Monday 1 June 2020. Documents can be viewed and submissions made at https://yourvoice.qprc.nsw.gov.au/draft-integrated-plans-2020-21