Friday, June 21, 2024

Brisbane Mayor orders 10% spending cut

Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, has ordered a Council-wide savings drive to “prevent avoidable costs” being passed on to the city’s 1.2 million residents.

The Lord Mayor says the Council will cut its spending by 10% amid the global inflation crisis’ ongoing impacts on projects and services.

“Households across Brisbane are tightening their belts because of rising costs and governments like ours are facing the same challenges,” Lord Mayor Schrinner said.

“Just like many households, we’re making the responsible decision to reduce Council spending by 10% to avoid driving up costs for residents.

“We’re being upfront about this tough decision but make no apology for prioritising keeping costs down for households.

“Other governments might be happy to take the easy route to just keep spending and force up costs but our Council team is not prepared to do that during a cost-of-living crisis.”

The Lord Mayor said he believed residents would agree that a reduction in Council spending was the right thing to do.

He said the decision comes after Council successfully budgeted to weather the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating February 2022 flood without forcing additional costs on ratepayers.

The Council-wide 10% saving drive will include major projects, including Brisbane Metro and the Green Bridge building program as well as advertising, consultants, travel and councillor ward budgets.

The shading of Victoria Bridge, which was being delivered as part of Brisbane Metro, and the next stage of the Toowong to West End Green Bridge are two projects which have already been identified and will be paused.

The Lord Mayor said there will be no staff redundancies or impacts on waste collection services as a result of the cuts.

Brisbane Civic Cabinet chair for finance, Fiona Cunningham said savings would be included in Council’s regular quarterly budget reviews.

“The global inflation crisis continues to have significant impacts on the cost of the projects we deliver,” Cr Cunningham said.

“Any decision to just keep spending in these circumstances would be irresponsible and result in significant future rate rises for Brisbane households and our team is not prepared to do that.

“While some proposed projects may be paused, the majority will be delivered on time however Council officers will be working hard over coming months to descope and remove unnecessary costs.

“For example, projects such as the Brisbane Metro include a public art requirement and some of this will now be removed to reduce costs,” she said.

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