Rate rises capped, record capital spend in council budget
A RATES capping system introduced by the Fraser Coast Regional Council will offset any rate rises this year, a move Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour says will introduce "fairness and equality for all."
It follows the 2018/19 budget, which includes a record capital works spend of $110 million, being handed down at council's meeting yesterday.
Of the capital works, $32.6 million will be spent on improving roads across the Fraser Coast, while $24.8 million will be spent on upgrades to the region's water and sewerage services.
Despite saying rates had been re-assessed to align with property values, Cr Seymour said a high percentage of the region's property owners would see a rates reduction because of the capping system.
"The early payment discount has been applied to all, so no longer will the most financially vulnerable in our community pay the price for being unable to meet the deadline," Cr Seymour said.
Service charges such as water, waste and sewerage will be included on the same rates bill in a major shake up of rate collection. Community groups and organisations will be provided with a 50 per cent concession on water charges.
Cr Seymour said the council had committed to a zero per cent rate revenue rise for the region.
"This budget demonstrates the direction we are headed in, there is much to be excited and enthused about," he said.
"Expenditure has been controlled and there will be no new borrowings required to deliver on this capital works program."
Finance councillor Rolf Light said the "bold and brave" budget was "put(ting) in place a road map to take the Fraser Coast forward over the next decade."
"This is a budget to be proud of... which sets up the Fraser Coast for future growth.
"Following two consecutive years of extremely low rate rises, we have delivered on our commitment to a zero per cent rate revenue rise," he said.