Budget delivers for whole Region

Published on 26 June 2019

Mayor Strelow presenting budget wide shot.jpg

Rockhampton Regional Council has today adopted its 2019-20 Budget with help for those struggling the most at the front and centre.

Mayor Margaret Strelow said an increase to the pensioner rebate, a general rates freeze for farmers and more concessions for sporting clubs and community groups form the centrepiece of this year’s Budget.

“This year, Council has handed down a Budget particularly focussed on those doing it tough,” Mayor Strelow said.

“If you’re a pensioner living week to week, a farmer fighting through the drought or a sports club or community group who has to fundraise just to pay its rates or hire a hall – this Budget is for you.

“We know it’s not only those people though, which is why Council has kept the overall rate rise for your average residential ratepayer to 2.8%.

“The Budget also has a record capital works program worth $149.3 million with local businesses the big winners thanks to our local preference policy.

“If previous years are any judgement, more than 75% of that money will be spent locally, bearing in mind some specialist equipment like airport lighting can only be purchased out of region.

“It includes projects which will change the face of Rockhampton – the new Art Gallery and South Rockhampton Flood Levee as well as for essential trunk infrastructure.

“At the same time we are delivering all this, I’m pleased to say that we have also reduced debt by around 25% - some $41 million dollars – since Deamalgamation.

“The financial discipline which has been displayed to get to this point is testament to the hard decisions which have had to be made over the past 6 years to pay down our legacy of debt.

“Rockhampton is in the strongest position it’s been in since we de-amalgamated – the challenge now is to stay the course to ensure each year we build on it a little more,” Mayor Strelow said.