Fraser Coast Regional Council.PHOTO EMBARGOED UNTIL JULY 28
Fraser Coast Regional Council.PHOTO EMBARGOED UNTIL JULY 28 Lauren Smit

No impact on budget from Sports Precinct: council

DEVELOPMENT of the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct will not contribute to any predicted rates rises in this year's budget, the council has confirmed.

It follows the Chronicle revealing a 2.5 per cent increase in water and sewerage charges is expected for this year's budget as the council attempts to work towards a zero per cent general rates rise.

More details of mayor George Seymour's budget wishlist have also been revealed, including goals of no net increase in general rates revenue, a cap on the predicted water, waste and sewerage charges and no new council debt over the next financial year.

Deputy mayor Darren Everard said the predicted increased charges were separate from the development of the multi-million dollar project.

"The water and sewerage business is a highly regulated industry, you need to plan for the future," Cr Everard told the Chronicle.

"It's expensive to run water businesses, the infrastructure requires upkeep, you've got to keep on top of chemicals and the power it costs to run your plants.

"It's probably a little bit too early to call exactly what the figures will be.".

Council CEO Ken Diehm said properties that experienced a significant increase in land valuations last year would continue to be impacted.

"The council has adopted a financial hardship policy which assists ratepayers having difficulty paying their rates... (and) has also moved to thrice yearly rates bills and the discount previously applied to early payers has been provided to all ratepayers," Mr Diehm said.

George Seymour's budget wishlist

  • A zero per cent general rates rise and no net increase in general rates revenue (excluding growth from new properties)
  • No increase in operating expenses
  • A cap of 2.5 per cent on revenue from water, waste and sewerage charges (excluding growth from new properties)
  • No new debt in 2019/20
  • A continued reduction of the council's debt over the next 10 years