Cairns Regional Council – Budget 2018-19
On 25th June, Cairns Regional Council handed down its Budget 2018-19 at a Special Budget Meeting.
The Budget’s theme was focused on “responsible and financially prudent” management with the aim of making the right investments and the delivery the right infrastructure. The Budget maintains Council’s record of low rates rises, low debt and significant expenditure in capital works to deliver critical new infrastructure in addition to manage and improve existing assets. The Budget maintains Council’s position in relation to debt levels with Cairns rated as having the second lowest debt per capita among medium to large councils in Queensland.
The 2018-2019 Budget is Council’s sixth consecutive balanced Budget and features total operating expenditure and total operating revenue of $301 million. In addition, it delivered a 1.7 per cent general rates increase in line with CPI. Approximately, 9400 single dwellings and 15,800 strata properties are set to pay just $14.80 extra for the financial year ahead.
The $301 million Budget 2018-19 includes $165.7 million for capital projects with a heavy focus on water and waste infrastructure upgrades. The Council aimed to keep rate rises to in the vicinity of CPI for five consecutive years with increases of between 1.5 and 1.75 per cent each year. The Budget also focused on the provision of necessary services in addition to infrastructure development and maintenance.
Furthermore, the Budget allocated $15 million over the next two years for the Florence Street upgrade. Plans and designs will also be released in coming months to create an arbour-lined walkway which connects the CPAC and Munro Martin Parklands to the Esplanade. The Council has committed $4.5 million toward tourism and events and $17.7 million to complete the Cairns Performing Arts Centre. As part of a plan to create a gallery precinct, an additional $2.1 million was committed to refurbish the Heritage-listed former Cairns Courthouse.
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