Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Toowoomba backs $519m budget

Toowoomba Region Mayor, Paul Antonio said Council’s new $519 million financial plan will maintain and upgrade existing services and facilities while planning for future generations.

Toowoomba Regional Council yesterday adopted its 2022-23 Budget, Operational Plan and Revenue Statement.

“The Budget reflects the priorities outlined in the Operational Plan (for the 2022-23 financial year) and Council’s Corporate Plan (2019-2024),” Mayor Antonio said.

“Council remains committed to implementing a responsible and calculated financial approach in its Budget planning and delivery.

“We have a responsibility to plan for maintenance and upgrades to our existing infrastructure to guarantee the long-term viability of essential services to residents.”

He said Council’s solid financial footing had allowed it to develop a $159 million capital program along with an operating Budget component of $360 million.

“A capital allocation of $69.49 million for asset renewal in this Budget emphasises Council’s strong focus on investing in infrastructure renewal programs across our extensive water, wastewater and road networks, plus other community assets, to look after what we have built in the past,” the Mayor said.

“Council has a legal and moral obligation to maintain its existing infrastructure and our ability to manage our $5.5 billion asset base across 13,000km² is a key performance indicator by which we are judged by the Queensland Audit Office and, more broadly and ultimately, the Queensland Parliament.

“In addition, $66.53 million is set aside for upgrade projects, while $23.26 million has been allocated for new capital projects across the Region.”

Mayor Antonio said that despite the uncertain global financial outlook, Council had managed to continue working in accordance with its long-term financial sustainability parameters.

“Our combined efforts have maintained the focus on delivering for our community. We understand how health restrictions, disruptions from natural disasters, plus rising cost pressures across all sectors are affecting business activity and investment, not to mention family household budgets,” he said.

“Council’s overall operational and capital expenditure parameters are based on our 10-year Long Term Financial Forecast (LTFF), which is not only adopted by Council, but overseen by the Department of Local Government, the Queensland Treasury Corporation and Queensland Audit Office.

“The LTFF is a forecasting tool that Council uses to ensure set financial parameters are maintained in the short and long term, thereby ensuring ongoing financial sustainability.

“We are committed to working with our local suppliers. In the current financial year to May 2022, Council has spent $177 million with local suppliers. This equates to 64% of our total expenditure, with additional payments to be made in June.”

Council’s budget includes a 2.5% increase to the general rate. It says the majority of urban residential ratepayers will face an increase of $81.28 a year, or $1.56 a week.

For full details of the 2022-23 Budget, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/budget.

Latest Articles