Rates likely to rise 4.5%

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

The budget was set at $77.3 million, which includes $18.724m in capital and $58.599m in operating expenditure.

The 4.5 per cent increase means the minimum rate would increase from $707 to $739.

Mayor Terry Kenyon said the rate increase was ‘very responsible’ compared to other local governments with 7 or 8 per cent increases.

‘It’s a balanced budget but a very strong budget,’ he said.

‘We’ve put a lot into reserves from sale of land which is good for asset management in the future so it doesn’t matter who’s in local government, they’re very strong financially.

‘The budget provides a solid foundation for building for the future through maintaining services and ensuring the amenity of the city is preserved and enhanced.

‘Council has taken a prudent financially responsible approach to developing the budget so we can deliver on our community’s expectations for value-for-money services.

‘The rates increase of 4.5 per cent reflects the need to deliver on the community’s aspirations as set out in the strategic community plan.’

Cr Kenyon said one of the high-priority projects was the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, which had been allocated $1720m.