Council Adopts 2022/23 Budget
Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s 2022/23 Budget will guarantee the delivery of the organisation’s largest capital works program to date, following the impact of the recent weather events to hit the region.
In a snapshot, the $97.32M 2022/2023 Budget provides an operating expenditure of $65.25M and $32.07M in capital expenditure, with $21.33M earmarked for infrastructure projects and a reduction of Council’s total debt by 40 per cent. Overall, this will provide Council a predicted operating surplus of $903,000 for the year.
When handing down the Budget today, Lockyer Valley Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan said this Budget was tailored to the challenging times we’re currently experiencing.
“We firmly believe this is yet another responsible budget that balances financial sustainability with the delivery of the range of services our fast-growing community needs, while also ensuring we remain on track to a path of long-term financial sustainability.
“Council has demonstrated its financial management track record over the past six years by consistently operating within its budget, keeping rate increases low, with an average annual increase of 1.5 per cent in general residential rates over the past four years, all the while delivering the services needed to see our community grow and remain vibrant.
“There are so many factors that have financially impacted our communities throughout the past 12 months, be it several natural disasters, the continued impacts of the global pandemic and a rising cost of living.
“In response to this, we have kept the average general rate increase to 2.73 per cent for residential properties.
“This is an accountable budget, yet also allows us to plan for the long-term financial future of the Lockyer Valley,” she said.
Mayor Milligan said this would allow Council to stay in touch with CPI increases, without placing undue stress on the community.
“We have also experienced unprecedented increases in land valuations, with an average of 20 per cent and some as high as 1500 per cent, and Council has moderated the impacts for as many residents as possible to the best of our ability.”
Mayor Milligan said Council would pay down a total of $7.76M in borrowings including paying off the remaining $6.29M debt from the 2011 disaster recovery operations and $633,412 from a waste management project loan. Council is currently carrying $19.98M debt, which is forecast to be reduced by 40 per cent to $12.23M by June 2023.
“Following three severe weather events in only seven months, the earmarked $21.33M for infrastructure projects will see flood restoration works completed across the region,” she said.
Council has also set aside $3.84M for waste transfer station upgrades, $600,000 for improvements to flood cameras and digital signage and $80,000 to see lighting at the Laidley Recreational Reserve upgraded.
Council has retained its rating concessions for pensioners and for ratepayers who pay their General Rates and Waste and Recycling Charges in full by the due date. While the Rural Fire Levy has increased by $1, the Emergency Preparedness Levy has remained unchanged, as has the Resilient Rivers Levy and Environment Levy. Waste Collection Charges and Waste Management Charges have increased by four per cent, which is still lower than CPI.
“This Budget shows a strong commitment from Councillors to ensure we keep rates as low as possible while finding a balance between community expectations and financial sustainability.
“I would like to thank my fellow Councillors, the Executive Leadership Team and Council staff for their roles in building the strong foundations for a bright future for the Lockyer Valley,” Mayor Milligan said.
For further information, visit www.lockyervalley.qld.gov.au or contact Council on 1300 005 872.