Electricity and insurance price hikes impact Council Budget

Burdekin Shire Council’s Budget bottom-line is being impacted hard by increasing electricity and insurance price hikes, according to Mayor Bill Lowis.

Cr Lowis said Council, like its residents, was suffering under the weight of increasing costs.

“These are tough times and these increasing costs don’t make it easy to keep our Budget numbers down,” he said.

“Electricity alone is budgeted to increase by approximately $235,000, across the board including water and sewerage.

“Ergon Energy has advised it will be passing on 10 per cent of their non-energy costs to Council which means our streetlights will cost us an extra $65,000 before the cost of the electricity to run them is included,” he said.

“Our total budget for streetlights, including energy costs, is $515,000 for the coming year, which is almost a third of Council’s total expenditure of approximately $1.8 million on electricity.”

Cr Lowis said insurance was another area where costs were ever increasing.

“The cost of Council’s insurance program is budgeted to increase by approximately $110,000 across the board including water and sewerage,” he said.

“The total increase for Council’s energy and insurance costs is estimated to be $345,000.

“The impact on our general operations alone is the equivalent of a 1 per cent general rate increase.

“Our total budget for insurance will be approximately $890,000. This is a huge amount of money that we have to find.

“I want our ratepayers to know that Council is doing everything possible to keep our rate rises low, but these sorts of costs make our task very difficult.”

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