SUNSHINE Coast Council delivered a historic first-time billion-dollar 2023-24 budget last week with the budget delivering many programs, projects and events across the region as well as a 5.96 per cent general rate increase for owner occupiers.
In good news for those at the lower end of the income scale, pensioners will still receive their discounts.
All eligible pensioners will benefit from a 7% increase in their pensioner rate concession and sole homeowners on full pensions will receive a $290 annual concession (up from $271) and those with joint title to the property will receive a maximum of $227 per annum (up from $212).
Mayor Jamieson said Council recognised that several residents were finding it difficult to make ends meet as cost-of-living pressures intensified.
“Council has worked hard to keep the minimum general rate increase for owner-occupiers to below CPI.
“The majority of owner-occupied properties will see a $1.42 per week increase in their general rate. This 5.55% increase is below CPI.
“In developing the 2023-24 Budget we have taken a thoughtful and balanced approach, minimising rate and levy increases to assist our community with the challenges associated with cost-of-living pressures.”
“Anyone experiencing financial hardship can contact Council before their rates are due and arrange a payment-by-instalments agreement over a six-month period to 31 December 31, without interest being charged.”
BY THE NUMBERS – RATE CHANGES
*Rates for the owner-occupiers on the minimum general rate – most residential properties – will increase by $74 ($1.42 per week) a 5.55% rise
*The environment levy will increase by $2 to $82
*The Transport Levy will increase by $2 to $47
*The Arts and Heritage Levy will increase by $2 to $18
*A 240-litre wheelie bin service charge will increase by $27.60 to $360.30
*Overall, rates and charges for most owner-occupiers on the minimum general rate will increase by $107.60 to $1913.80 – or 5.96%
DIVISION 9 BUDGET WINS
Division 9 Councillor Maria Suarez said suburbs across the area would receive a budget boost with parks featuring significantly.
“Investment in the growing suburb of Bli Bli continues with the continued upgrade of Camp Flat Road.
“There will also be improvements to parks, playgrounds and trails across the suburb, including new seating at Waigani Street Park, a new drinking fountain at Kingfisher Drive Park and work to restore the trails at Parklands Conservation Park.
“While the detailed planning for the future of Lions-Norrie Job Park continues, Coolum locals and visitors will start to see some of the initial multi-staged works begin.
“There will also be fence, seat and shower updates to local parks across the suburb and it should be easier to exit the Coolum Sports Complex with the continued upgrade to the intersection onto David Low Way.’’
Cr Suarez said Verrierdale residents would see the restoration of the Doonan Creek Environment Reserve, with $300,000 to progress the walking trails and other items.
“Peregian Springs State School students will have a safer trip to school with a new bus shelter on the cards and an upgrade to the Longwood Drive pathway,” Cr Suarez said.
Division 9 Highlights
*Jack Morgan Park new amenities, Coolum Beach – $350,000
*Lake Weyba foreshore trail upgrade, Weyba Downs – $570,000
*Lions-Norrie Job park landscape, Coolum Beach – $655,000
*Coolum Sports Complex intersection, Coolum Beach – $1,605,000
*Lowes Lookout pathway construction, Coolum Beach – $80,000
*Peregian Springs School stop drop and go waiting area Shelter, Peregian Springs – $60,000
DIVISION 8 BUDGET WINS
An excited Councillor O’Pray stated that it was the best budget that he had seen in his 11 years as a Councillor.
“Every single suburb has secured wonderful funding and projects.
“I am so very chuffed, and I’m absolutely certain the community will agree. It’s amazing,’’ Cr O’Pray said.
“Our neighbourhoods will directly benefit from $5 million to make several improvements to pathways, parks and gardens across Coolum Beach, Marcoola, Maroochydore, Mount Coolum, Mudjimba, Pacific Paradise, Point Arkwright, Sunshine Cove, Twin Waters and Yaroomba.
“My focus this financial year is really around getting the little things right for my communities and I am so very pleased to see Mudjimba featured so prominently in Council’s budget again this year.”
Council will contribute $700,000 towards the North Shore Multi-Sports Complex Clubhouse, matching a $700,000 Queensland Government grant through the South-East Queensland Community Stimulus Program.
In Mudjimba, $323,000 will be spent improving Power Memorial Park barbeque shelters, a gate renewal, and ensuring our youngsters can play safely – new play equipment.
“Marcoola projects that have gained funding include continuation of upgrades to Keith Royal Oval Park amenities, Marcoola Beach Streetscaping and aspects of the Master Plan thanks to all the community feedback.”
Division 8 Highlights
*Keith Royal oval park amenities renewal, Marcoola – $225,000
*Boardwalk Estate 28x totems staged renewal, Mount Coolum – $70,000
*Power Memorial Park BBQ shelters, play equipment and gates, Mudjimba – $323,000
*Yaroomba Park playground rocker, Yaroomba – $100,000
*North Shore Multi-Sports Complex, Mudjimba – $700,000
*Marcoola Beach streetscape renewal, Marcoola – $230,000
*Lake View Drive – pathway renewal, Twin Waters – $120,000
*Magenta Drive park shade sale and picnic combo, Coolum Beach – $70,000
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