Council carbon protest to Julia
ROADS, rebuilding and planning for the future are the foundations of the Ipswich City Council 2012-13 Budget announced yesterday.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the $450 million Budget provided a solid foundation to deliver infrastructure to cater for future growth.
"Ipswich's councillors were resoundingly endorsed by the community at the recent election and entrusted with the management of Ipswich for a third term," Cr Pisasale said.
"This Budget ensures the best return for the community on the funds which council manages on its behalf, by managing services efficiently and servicing debt responsibly.
"It is a Budget that delivers the services our community needs now and it is a Budget that continues to build the Ipswich of the future."
Cr Pisasale said Category 1 residential owner occupiers would receive an average general rate increase of 2.03%.
"The net average increase for residential owner occupiers for all council services, including the State Government fire levy, wheelie bins and environmental levy is 3.95% or $1.07 per week," he said.
"The Federal Government's carbon tax has impacted on this Budget and is responsible for almost half of rates increase faced by ratepayers.
"Ipswich's rates increase would have been just 2.13% or 58 cents per week without the carbon tax. Overall this tax adds approximately $25.55 to each ratepayer's yearly rates bill."
Not surprisingly, waste charges are among the biggest increases with a $25 increase on the charge for weekly wheelie bin collection.
Last week, Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced a 4.5% rates increase including a 1.9% increase due to the carbon tax.
A highlight of Ipswich's Budget was $42 million over the next five years to start delivering the mayor's election promise to kerb and channel every street in urban areas
"This is a long-term, 25-year strategy to bring the old and the new areas of the city together," he said.
The council has also allocated $55 million for transport network upgrades.
Ipswich deputy mayor Victor Attwood said the Budget also had a continued focus on rebuilding the city following the January 2011 flood.
"Council is 87% of the way through its rebuilding program for the city's infrastructure damaged by the floodwaters and today's Budget reinforces our continued commitment to rebuilding Ipswich since January 2011," Cr Attwood said yesterday.
"We have committed funding to the final stages of the $120 million rebuilding program.
"Work is about to begin on the last significant project - the almost $10 million rebuilding of Colleges Crossing.
"Work is expected to be completed by February next year to return this popular area to the community.
"We are looking forward to seeing this work completed as it will be another significant step forward in the city's recovery process," Cr Attwood said
He said the council had also provided funding for two flood recovery community development officers and a community rebuilding co-ordinator.
"We also plan to continue to implement Ipswich's flood recovery plan and fine tune disaster management arrangements throughout council," he said.
"There is also $6.7 million included in this year's Budget for drainage network improvements."
Cr Attwood said the council's capital construction program of $157 million included $16 million for open space and recreational facilities and $1.75 million for ongoing management of parks and sports assets in Ipswich.
WHAT YOU'LL PAY
- Average residential general rate: $1075.84.
- Weekly garbage service: $297 (up $25).
- A $5 increase on the cost of green bins, $25 increase on weekly wheelie bin collection and $1 increase to $7 for a trip to the dump.
- Enviroplan levy: $39.
- State Government fire levy: $169.25.
- Average residential discount: $120.
- Average residential net amount payable: $1461.09.
- Weekly increase: $1.07.
- Annual increase $3.98%.