28 June, 2021
TRC’s ‘carefully optimistic’ 2021-22 Budget announced
Toowoomba Regional Council adopted its $551 million 2021-22 Budget, Operational Plan and Revenue Statement at last Wednesday’s Special Meeting, with numerous projects set to be completed in Pittsworth and Millmerran.
Mayor Paul Antonio said Council’s $551 million financial plan would maintain and upgrade existing services and facilities while planning for a brighter future for current and successive generations.
Deputy Mayor and Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair Councillor Geoff McDonald reinforced Mayor Antonio’s remarks, saying the budget council has delivered was carefully constructed.
“Carefully optimistic best describes the 2021/22 Toowoomba Regional Council Budget,” Cr McDonald said.
“Careful as we continue to navigate our way through the health, social and economic challenges of COVID-19, and optimistic that as a region our diverse economy and supportive community has been the cornerstone for a strong recovery.”
Cr McDonald said this multi-million dollar budget will be split among a number of areas.
“Overall Council’s budget for the 2021/22 financial year is $551 million, made up of $187 million in capital projects and $364 million operational,” Cr McDonald said.
“As part of the capital projects, $28.6 million has been allocated towards new projects, $66.7 million on upgrades and $91.8 million on renewals.
“With an asset base of $5.4 billion, and a budgeted depreciation of $106 million, Council needs to ensure there is a strong emphasis placed on the renewal of its assets.
“This is a budget that forecasts an operating surplus of $783,000.”
“An operating surplus is important as these funds can be drawn upon for capital projects and to provide an ability for Council to respond to uncertainty in the market,” Cr McDonald said.
In the coming year, the major areas of capital expenditure will include:
- $82.69 million for roads, bridges, footpaths, bike-ways and drainage projects
- $38.52 million for water projects
- $16.31 million for waste-water projects
- $6.19 million for waste services
- $17.22 million for parks and recreation projects
- $22.14 million for community services and facilities; library and cultural services and property services
- $ 4.03 million for business strategy and operations
So, how will Pittsworth and surrounding areas benefit from this years multi-million dollar budget?
The good news is, a number of projects are set to be completed across Pittsworth and Millmerran over the next financial year.
Some project highlights announced in the 2021-22 Budget include:
TRC is investing $600,000 in its footpath renewal program to upgrade footpaths across the region.
Of this $600,000 budget, the Council has allocated $100,000 to construct a new footpath along Yandilla Street in Pittsworth, and a further $75,000 to put a footpath along Pittsworth’s Grand Street, from Forrest to Florence Street.
Millmerran is also set to receive footpath upgrades on William Street, with the funding for that project totalling $15,000.
WASTE AND WATER
Millmerran’s Waste Management Facilities will be receiving an upgrade in the near future, with a budget of $280,000 to be split between the Millmerran and Greenmount facilities this financial year to continue design works for these projects.
Almost $2 million has also been allocated to the Mt Mallard trunk water main in the 2021-22 budget for additional trunk water mains to provide redundancy and maintain service standards in Pittsworth.
ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY
Council is committing close to $40 million in capital projects for Environment and Community Services this financial year.
Of this, a budget of $2.5 million has been allocated to upgrade the existing pool in Millmerran.
Following community consultation earlier this year, the 60-year-old Millmerran pool will be replaced with a new 50 metre pool, including pool heating.
An access ramp is also planned to ensure the pool is accessible to people living with a disability or limited mobility.
The pool upgrades are set to begin in October 2021, with the completion date set for February 2022.
OTHER BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
During the Council’s Special Meeting last Wednesday, it was also announced that Council will deliver a 2.5% increase in the general rate.
Cr McDonald said this rate rise ensures Council can deliver a budget that meets its long-term financial sustainability commitments while balancing the needs of a growing region.
“We have, once again, implemented a 2.5% general rates increase this financial year, following our long-term financial sustainability model,” Councillor McDonald said.
“In addition to this, there will be a 2.5% increase for separate charges and a 2.4% increase for waste-water.
“Residents connected to the Toowoomba Bulk Supply will also see an increase by 3.4% to their access
and consumption charges, while non-residential users will see an increase of 4.4%.
“There will be a 6.1% increase, for both residential and non-residential users, for those having access to the Non-Toowoomba Bulk Supply.
“This works out to an overall increase of 2.76% for rates and charges or about $1.76 a week for the average urban residential property.”
Finance and Business Strategy Portfolio Leader Cr Kerry Shine also announced that early rate payments will continue in 2021/22, with residents eligible for a 10% discount if they pay their rates before 7 September, 2021.
For full details of the TRC 2021-22 Budget, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/budget