Escalating costs to impact on Budget

Increasing power costs and higher insurance premiums are among the escalating costs being factored in to the Burdekin Shire Council Budget.

Burdekin Mayor Bill Lowis said rising input costs meant rate rises would be hard to contain.

“The big challenge for all councils is to contain rate rises while meeting escalating costs,” he said. 

“Council is working hard to get the Budget finalised and to keep costs to the ratepayers minimal, but escalating costs will mean a rate rise above the Consumer Price Index, which does not have a lot of relevance to local government.

“We are budgeting for a 10 per cent increase to the cost of electricity, our insurance premiums have escalated and the price of bitumen and other products used in our major works has increased about 16 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

“Council is aware that rate rises are unpopular, but we also have an obligation to provide the high level of services that our ratepayers expect and maintain our infrastructure.”

Cr Lowis said the late local government election had impacted on the timing of this year’s Budget.

“The Council departments are working hard on getting their budgets finalised which will be delivered in the near future,” he said.

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