Council budget funds major long-term projects

23 Jun 2022

Two exciting intergenerational projects are at the heart of Redland City Council’s $396 million 2022-23 Budget.

In handing down the 2022-2023 Budget, Mayor Karen Williams said Councillors were committed to delivering the projects local families had been asking for.

“This year’s Budget is all about delivering for today while also planning for tomorrow,” she said.

“Local families will be the real winners with two key intergenerational projects set to deliver public water parks, sporting fields and plenty of space to enjoy the naturally wonderful Redlands Coast.

“This includes the Birkdale precinct, the largest, most exciting and diverse community project ever delivered,” she said.

“Council has just finished consultation on the Draft Master Plan for the Birkdale Community Precinct and now this budget allocates $12.7 million to fund the next stage, which includes the restoration of the Willards Farm building.

“When complete, this exciting project will include a public swimming lagoon, entertainment and innovation precinct.

“It will be our version of South Bank and Victoria Park all rolled into one and will be enjoyed by generations of Redlanders.

“This year’s Budget also includes an initial $15 million funding towards Stage 1 of the Redlands Coast Regional Sport and Recreation Precinct at Mount Cotton, which will give our cycling and BMX stars of tomorrow somewhere to participate in the sports they love.

“The complex multi-stage and multi-year project, being developed in a globally challenging environment, will also give families and visitors a great new location in the south of the city to enjoy the naturally wonderful Redlands Coast with an exciting play experience, picnic areas and trails and bike activity area.

“The play space includes a water play area for cooling down on a hot summer’s day, designed to reflect the environmental story of this wonderful site.”

Cr Williams said the budget, delivered during a time of rising costs, reduced revenue and high inflation, included funding for other major, long-term projects.

“This includes more than $20 million for the duplication of Wellington Street/Panorama Drive to help ease congestion, $5 million for the Weinam Creek project and $4.41 million towards the Southern Moreton Bay Ferry Terminals Upgrade for Lamb and Karragarra Islands.”

Cr Williams said Council was able to commit to these exciting projects because of its strong cash reserves.

“It is important to point out that these projects will be funded through cash reserves as a priority over general rates, reducing the burden on ratepayers.

“So while other Council are being forced to cut projects due to external cost pressures the money we have saved over previous years means we can deliver the projects residents have been asking us for.

“Council is facing external cost pressures including inflation and supply chain challenges that make it more expensive to do business.

“The State Government has again increased our bulk water bill by nearly $1 million to $46 million – which represents 11.6 per cent of Council’s total budget.

“Despite these challenges, Council has chosen to absorb many of these external costs rather than passing them on to ratepayers.

“The result is about 98 cents a week (or 4.72 per cent) increase to the minimum general rate for an average owner occupier in Redland City.

“Despite land valuations increasing on average 25 per cent across the city, Council has adjusted the rate in the dollar so as to not pass on these higher land valuations to ratepayers and to keep rate rises well below the Brisbane consumer price index.

“To keep rates rises as low as possible, for the 2022-23 financial year Council is budgeting an operating deficit of $4.1 million.

“Had we not included a deficit this year, rates rises would have been higher.

“Through years of prudent and sound financial management, especially during the financial impacts of COVID-19 public health measures, we are in an enviable position where we can use a deficit to offset pain on ratepayers because we have kept money in the bank.

2022-23 Budget at a glance:

  • $396 million investment in Redlands Coast
  • The minimum general rate will increase by 4.72 per cent (or 98 cents per week) for an average owner occupier in Redland City
  • Projected operating deficit of $4.1 million
  • Capital expenditure program of $116 million
  • Total pensioner rebates of almost $3.2 million, with rates rebates of $335 a year for a full pensioner or $167.50 for a part-pensioner.

Capital expenditure program at a glance:

  • $37.64 million for parks, open space and conservation
  • $26.77 million for transport, roads and traffic projects
  • $18.08 million for water, waste and wastewater projects
  • $13.35 million for marine and foreshore projects
  • $10.04 million for infrastructure projects such as transport, buildings and stormwater
  • $8.42 million for other capital works projects
  • $1.46 million for community and cultural development.
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