Redland City Council’s 2023-2024 Budget has directly responded to cost-of-living pressures currently facing the Redlands Coast community.
Mayor Karen Williams said Council took stock of the community’s financial situation when preparing the $430 million Budget, and in response has made sensible, sustainable and appropriate decisions.
“Through this year’s Budget, Council will establish a Civic Support Fund to offer rapid assistance to the community where it is desperately needed,” Cr Williams said.
“Appropriate community organisations will be able to apply for funds from a $500,000 pool to address immediate community needs in their areas that are not being met by other grants and support.
“In many cases we are talking about the supply of food and essential household items – the very basics to keep our community going.
“I am also proud that with this year’s Budget, Council has been able to provide a Wastewater Subsidy within our rates and utilities charges to help ease the cost of living.
“The subsidy with an overall value of $1.5 million will be applied this year to the wastewater charge in your rates notice and, on average, it will deliver residents a $23 saving per annum.
“Applying this against the wastewater charge was found to be the most fair and equitable way of passing on this saving to ratepayers citywide.”
Cr Williams said the initiatives were possible through Council’s continued commitment to responsible financial management.
“Every year we strive to make our Budget balance. And this year that possibility was achievable,” she said.
“However, knowing our community is doing it tough meant we made the decision as a Council to structure this Budget with an operating deficit of about $2.1 million.
“It affords us the opportunity to directly address the day-to-day pressures our community is facing.
“Council also has a strong balance sheet and can use interest on cash balances to support ratepayers as well.”
The Budget includes total pensioner remissions and rebates of approximately $3.6 million, with pensioner remission at $335 per year for a full pensioner and $167.50 for a part-pensioner.
For more information, see Council’s 2023-2024 Budget webpage.
Council recently launched a community awareness campaign showing how Redlands Coast residents can play a part in helping to reduce overall costs to ratepayers.
Tips on reducing the cost to the community budget:
- The community clean-up bill for avoidable damage to water meters on Redlands Coast is around $200,000 each year. Common culprits are lawnmowers and reversing cars. You can help by keeping the area around your water meter clear and visible, or using a water meter cover.
- In the past 12 months, Council’s facilities team has actioned 470 work orders to repair vandalism and remove graffiti on Council buildings, with a repair cost of around $98,000. If you see vandalism occurring, report it. You’ll be helping keep our city beautiful and reducing the impact to the community budget.
- Council spends more than $60,000 of the community’s budget each year cleaning up illegal dumping to keep the city safe for residents and wildlife. If you see illegal dumping, report it.
- Council collects more than 118,000 tonnes of waste and recycling each year, at a cost of around $27.2 million. With these costs rising annually, you can contribute to a more sustainable economic and environmental future for Redlands Coast by putting the correct waste in the corresponding correct bins at home. You can reduce the number of recyclables, and amount of green waste and food waste sent to landfill, while preventing contamination in your recycling bin.