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30 June, 2021

Council budget set to re-energise Isaac's unique communities

RE-ENERGISING Isaac region communities is the centrepiece of the adopted Isaac Regional Council 2021-22 Budget after the incomparable strain of COVID-19.

Mayor Anne Baker and CEO Jeff Stewart Harris present the 2021-2022 annual budget for Isaac Regional Council

Mayor Anne Baker said the unprecedented impacts the Isaac region felt last year was the reason the budget needed to focus on community resilience.

“We saw so many impacts on our region and as we push forward with our recovery, Council has focused on delivering a responsible community-centric budget,” Mayor Baker said.

“Council stood up last year in the face of COVID-19 uncertainty and froze rates and levies for residential and rural ratepayers while continuing to support the local economy through tough economic times.

“Significant work has been done to keep the general rates increase to 2.4%, following on from the rates freeze for residential and rural properties last year. We have reduced the cent in the dollar for general rates to offset some big increases to land values, in particular agricultural land values, as a result of Queensland Government land valuations.

“This means that for about 90% per cent of us the rates increase is equivalent to buying a cup of coffee each week. This is a responsible budget that will see us stay on track to meet our long-term financial forecast.

“Increases to Council’s waste management and utilities charges have also been kept to 2% despite rising cost pressures from the Queensland Government Waste Levy.”

Mayor Baker said the budget will make sure with the community re-activation that Council delivers on its core business of maintaining roads, managing waste and securing water.

“Through the $45M capital works program we are building our communities resilience and improving community infrastructure,” she said.

“We are investing $15.7M in roads around the region, $1M will go toward maintaining our parks and playgrounds and $9.1M will be spent on securing our water and wastewater assets for our future.”

Mayor Baker said Council had taken every opportunity with this year’s budget to preserve the Isaac way of life, enabling the community to get back to using Council facilities and services and helping our regional economy to move toward recovery.

“COVID-19 saw major changes to how Council does business and meant that we had to continue to push harder to support the local economy,” Mayor Baker said.

“Council has stepped up its local buy policy applying more weighting to local suppliers. This has seen Council spending an additional $6M with local Isaac suppliers and we will continue this strategy.”

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