2.5% rate rise in Ipswich council budget

RATES will rise 2.5 per cent as the Ipswich City Council hands down its budget for the next financial year.

As reported by the QT last month, the 2.5 per cent increase is slightly above the 1.9 per cent inflation rate.

A $3.6 million surplus will be delivered this year, thanks largely to an increase in donated assets and other revenue.

Wayne Wendt became the second acting mayor in as many years to hand down the city's major fiscal statement.

The second-largest budget in Ipswich's history, at $515.3 million, returns the council's core focus to roads, rubbish, libraries parks and improved services, Cr Wendt said.

"We worked very hard to keep this rise as low as possible with full knowledge of the cost of living pressures facing families," he said.

"This budget is about balancing our quality of life with sustainable growth.

"It is about prioritising projects across all areas of Ipswich."

Residents will pay an extra $15 each year in the waste management utility charge and an extra dollar annually for the Enviroplan charge.

Growth across the city has net the council an additional 7.33 per cent in rates revenue on the previous financial year.

A capital works budget of $104.5 million is about $42 million less than what was spent last year.

Included in the capital works budget; the council will spend $13.5 million on parks, $25.3 million on road and bridge maintenance and $21.6 million for road upgrades and road safety improvements.

Improving kerb and channeling across the region is the largest capital works item, $8.5 million will be spent.

"Infrastructure must keep pace with our population growth," Cr Wendt said.

"We are at 210,000 (population) and predicted to increase to 480,000 by 2036."

A further $5.8 million will be allocated this year to finish the $9.4 million upgrade of Old Toowoomba Rd at Leichhardt.

The council's commercial business unit Ipswich Waste Services has delivered a $12.2 million operating surplus.

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