Keeping rate rises to CPI no longer possible: Mayor

Increasing external costs are impacting on Burdekin Shire Council’s ability to keep rate rises in line with CPI, according to Mayor Bill Lowis.

“Freezing of government financial assistance grants, electricity costs, insurance and the cost of materials are all things Council has no control over and these are rising every year,” he said.

“Unfortunately, Burdekin is in the position of having a static population which is covering these increasing costs.

“I’m not the only one to say keeping our rate rises to the CPI is not sustainable these days – the Chief Executive of Queensland Treasury Corporation has also publicly stated this (Courier-Mail 23/4/2015).

“He said CPI rate rises were a thing of the past as costs on councils were getting bigger.”

Cr Lowis said he wanted to assure Burdekin ratepayers that Council was being cautious with their money to ensure the future sustainability of the Shire.

“Our Chief Executive Officer last year directed his team to find a five per cent productivity dividend in their departmental budgets, we’ve kept our borrowings to a minimum and still provide a wide range of services wanted by this community,” he said.

“Burdekin does not, by a long shot, have the highest average rates in Queensland and it is Council’s aim to keep it that way.

“Really, for such a small community, we are very lucky to have all the services we currently have.

“There are not many council areas with our population that have a fantastic theatre complex or a pool in nearly all of its towns.

“Many comparable council areas don’t have the number of sealed roads in their shire as we do either.

“I believe this Council is doing a solid job of keeping costs to our ratepayers to a minimum and provide excellent service to our residents.”

The Burdekin Shire Council Budget will be brought down on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.


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