$864 million budget delivers a healthy, smart, creative region
Sunshine Coast Council today endorsed its $864 million budget for 2018-19 which continues its focus on maintaining a strong, sustainable council, investing in the services and facilities that communities need and improving the liveability and vitality of the Sunshine Coast.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said this year’s budget built on council’s plan for the region and demonstrated a continuing commitment to preserving and enhancing the natural environment, supporting and servicing the community and building an economy that can provide jobs and opportunities now and into the future.
“Each year for the past six years, we have delivered a budget surplus and this year will be no different,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Neither the Federal Government nor the State Government can claim a similar record and nor can they demonstrate the same level of exemplary financial stewardship and responsibility that has been consistently demonstrated by our council over this period.
“A clear plan for the future, maintaining a strong financial position and investing in services and infrastructure are the hallmarks of our council.
“Keeping faith with these objectives ensures our council can continue to support the needs of our communities right across the Sunshine Coast – now and in the future.”
Mayor Jamieson said that maintaining the liveability of the Sunshine Coast would always be a key priority of council and was an intrinsic part of planning for the region.
“It is what matters to our residents and it is what matters to us,” Mayor Jamieson said.
The 2018/19 budget highlights include:
• $123 million to maintain, renew and replace roads, pathways and stormwater assets
• $33 million for our environment, including beaches, foreshores, bushland conservation and clean energy
• $77 million on recreation, including maintaining and upgrading council’s many parks and gardens, sporting facilities and lifeguard services
• $44 million for our libraries, galleries and community facilities and services
• $32 million for economic initiatives, including local business support, major events and holiday parks
• $7 million for community events and grants which is one of the largest community funding commitments of any council in Queensland
Mayor Jamieson said a highlight of this year’s council budget was a record $370 million capital works program, which is the largest in the history of this council.
“This will deliver better local roads, parks, gardens, community and sporting facilities right across the region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our capital works program goes to the very heart of the liveability and connectivity of our community.
“It also helps instil a sense of pride and is an investment in both the well-being of our residents and the vibrancy of their locality.”
Council’s capital works program for 2018-19 features:
• $73 million on transportation and stormwater projects
• $23 million on waste management
• $19 million on community and sporting facilities and
• $10 million on parks and gardens and public amenities
Mayor Jamieson said the capital works program also continued council’s commitment to the region’s game changing projects which are helping to drive a stronger economy, generate jobs and provide access to new services for the community.
“The budget includes $151 million for the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project which remains on track for completion by Christmas 2020,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“These works will be funded from borrowings which will be retired with the funds council receives from Palisade Investment Partners.
“Council has also allocated $33 million for works at the Maroochydore City Centre for streets, cycleways and footpaths; installation of street lighting and street furniture; construction of a new park and landscaping; and the first stage of a striking new waterway on the site.
“Collectively these two projects alone are forecast to generate more than 30,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
“This is a significant dividend for our residents, particularly our children and young people who will have greater opportunities to stay on the Coast and pursue their careers locally.”
General rates for the majority of Sunshine Coast ratepayers will increase by $41 to $1207, while the cost to collect a standard 240 litre wheelie bin will increase by $10 to $290.
The combined increase equates to $51 for the year – or 3.5%.
The Environment, Heritage and Transport levies will rise by a combined total of $4.50 compared to $20 in 2017-18.
Mayor Jamieson said the Environment Levy, which will raise $10.3 million this year, would help to fund a new project to define the total economic value of the Sunshine Coast’s natural assets and the contributions they make to our economy and community.
“Council will continue to protect and enhance our natural environment, including our native plants and animals, waterways and wetlands and coastal environments,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We will also support the purchase and management of even more conservation lands, undertake more catchment and coastal rehabilitation projects and continue to partner with private landholders and environmental community groups.
“With our Heritage Levy funding, this year we will put a stronger focus on supporting indigenous cultural heritage projects developed in collaboration with Kabi Kabi, Jinibara and DASSI peoples.
“We will develop heritage and cultural tourism through the development of walks and trails, short films, interpretive projects and support of indigenous events at the Horizon Festival in August and September.”
Transport Levy funds will be directed towards the continued planning for a better and integrated public transport solution for the region, with a focus on Light Rail, and the delivery of important council-run services for the community such as Council Link and the Flexilink trials.
“The Transport Levy funds will also enable our council to continue with its bus stop upgrades to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act requirements and enable further research into travel behaviour change opportunities.”
Mayor Jamieson said council could be very proud of its results against a series of measures of financial sustainability.
“This budget will continue to provide confidence to ratepayers that we are in great shape – better in fact, than most other councils in the state,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Council has achieved an operating surplus ratio of 5.4%, ahead of benchmark, allowing us to invest in growth capital projects and to pay back our loans.
“And our asset sustainability ratio of 75.6% illustrates that we are investing in renewing our existing assets.”
A snapshot of some of the major projects to be delivered across the Sunshine Coast in 2018-19:
– $7.6 million for the Sippy Downs four-lane upgrade project to significantly improve traffic flow and create an entry statement into the Sunshine Coast’s Knowledge Precinct
– $3.2 million to construct the Minyama to Mooloolaba cycleway bridge over Mayes Canal
– $2 million for the Parklands Boulevard duplication project at Meridan Plains
– $1.8 million to continue to construct the Burke St extension at Golden Beach
– $1.7 million for the ongoing upgrade of a 1.2km stretch of McGilchrist Rd, Eudlo
– $1.6 million to upgrade Image Flat Rd in Nambour
– $1.5 million for the upgrade of Roys Rd at Beerwah
– $2.7 million for the continuing upgrade of Caloundra’s main street – Bulcock St
– $1.36 million to start on upgrades to David Low Way at Bli Bli
– $250,000 to begin the masterplan for Cribb St at Landsborough
Sport and recreation
– $3.2 million for two new AFL fields and a clubhouse at council’s Meridan Plains complex
– $1.7 million for the Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre at Caloundra
– $1 million towards the Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex
– $750,000 for upgrades to Sunshine Coast Stadium at Kawana
– $602,000 for the Beerwah Aquatic Centre
– $400,000 for the North Shore Multi-Sport Complex at Mudjimba
– $225,000 to extend the Maleny golf course to 18 holes
-$4.6 million for the redevelopment of The Events Centre at Caloundra
-$1.8 million for the construction of the new community centre at Baringa
-$1.22 million to progress the Heritage Tramway Project in Nambour
91.9 Sea FM News Team – June 21, 2018