RATES: How Ipswich compares with the rest of SEQ

A STANDARDISED comparison of rates across multiple regional councils shows Ipswich is in the middle of the pack.

According to Ipswich City Council, the perception among residents is that they pay some of the highest rates in the state, and the country.

However a median valuation of properties in local government areas factoring in waste, services and other charges shows Ipswich residents pay on average about $1550 a year.


Net rates comparison between neighbouring southeast Queensland councils.
Net rates comparison between neighbouring southeast Queensland councils. Contributed


Ipswich rates are comparable to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Logan, and Brisbane but those in the Moreton Bay region are about 10 per cent lower. Neighbouring councils in the Scenic Rim, and Lockyer Valley range from $1750 to $1900, while Somerset is the cheapest at about $1200.

Interim administrator Greg Chemello said he felt obliged to provide a recommended path forward for the elected councillors beyond the March 2020 local government elections.

He said by laying out a responsible, long-term financial plan including savings for ratepayers and a council that sticks to its budget, he will establish a good groundwork for his successors.

"We are setting out a thorough price path for this organisation for the future," he said.

The council says rapid population growth is a key driver for the increasing cost of delivering local government services.

Governments with the highest population growth across the state are Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Logan and Ipswich. In comparison, rates are similar and provide a reasonable benchmark for Ipswich as they deal with similar pressures on service delivery.

Mr Chemello said the cornerstone of the administration's strategy was to progressively hold the city's average property rates increases below the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the next five and possibly seven years.

Once average rates are more comparable with the lower end of other southeast Queensland councils, rate increases could then be generally set at or around CPI.

That is compared that to neighbouring councils, including Brisbane (2.5 per cent), Gold Coast (2.94 per cent), Sunshine Coast (3 per cent) and Toowoomba (2.5 per cent). Regionally, Cairns (1.5 per cent) and Townsville (2 per cent) were above the figure announced by Mr Chemello on June 25.

The average residential owner occupier general rate for 2019-20 will be $1,339, non inclusive of services, (up from $1,320 in 2018-19).

Ipswich residents were also delivered a zero increase on wheelie bin collection and enviroplan charges, with the rate kept the same as 2018-19, $361 and $45 respectively.

Mr Chemello revealed a $606 million budget for the city for 2019-20, which meant the average general rate increase for residential properties of 1.39 per cent - less than CPI - amounts to an average increase in total rates and charges of 35 cents per week.

"There will be substantial cost savings in some areas, but I see it more as driving efficiency within this organisation and providing better value for money. Council will continue to deliver first-class services to everyone in the Ipswich community," he said.

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