Rockhampton Regional Council has delivered its 2023/24 Budget.
The Budget includes a $150 million capital works program, focusing on essential projects like water and sewage treatment plant upgrades and road maintenance.
As well as over $7 million in economic development, tourism and events to support future job growth and investment in the economy.
Ratepayers can expect an increase of 6.74 per cent.
Mayor Tony Williams says the Budget strikes a balance between delivering essential projects and services with the very real impact of cost-of-living pressures in the community.
“We expect to see substantial cost pressures impacting Council over the coming 12 months,” he says.
“Electricity, insurance, construction and fuel costs are all seeing significant rises and Council is unfortunately disproportionately exposed to these cost rises.
“We are expecting Council’s electricity and insurance costs to increase in 2023/24 by over $2 million alone.
“This is on top of significant rises in construction costs, fuel and many other products Council relies on to deliver its services across the community.
“We have had to balance those costs by containing our own internal budgets wherever possible, while continuing to invest where we can in essential projects and economic development.”
Mayor Williams says where Council had scope to invest in new projects, it would focus on those projects and services that deliver important community benefit and which set the region up for the future.
“We’re focusing on the projects we know residents and business rely on and which are essential for our region to operate and grow in the future.
“Investments in road renewal, upgrades, and rehabilitation as well as water and sewage treatment plant upgrades because we know they are the essential services that make our region work.
“We are also continuing to invest in our parks, gardens and community facilities because it’s important that local residents have the places and spaces they need and love to meet family and friends across the region.
“We are also investing in economic development, tourism and events because we know they are integral to securing new jobs, industry and growing our economy.
“This is a Budget that finely balances those competing pressures with targeted and high-value investments in the areas that will mean the most for our community.
“We have done all of this while keeping the rate rise below CPI (Consumer Price Index).
“This has not been an easy task which is why we have sought to limit our own budgets and investments to those which are a priority and necessary and contained as best we can rate rises in the community.”