Budget 21-22:Record infrastructure spend with better service standards
Published 18 June 2021
After a year like no other, Moreton Bay Region is setting out to recover like no other.
Council today handed down a $743 million budget that will deliver a record $245 million in capital works, to propel the region’s economy forward and keep locals employed.
That’s $25 million more being invested in infrastructure than last year and more than half of that $245 million (54%) will be invested building entirely new community infrastructure, in addition to the $117 million allocated to building renewals and upgrades.
Average total rates bill will increase by about $1.20 per week (3.9%) but Mayor Peter Flannery said the heart of this year’s Budget was behind the headline figures.
“This year we’re going to be doing things differently off the back of our landmark Moreton Says survey - the largest community engagement exercise ever undertaken in our region,” Mayor Flannery said.
“Locals have resoundingly and almost unanimously told us that they want Council to approach regional planning differently and to increase both environment and lifestyle protections as our population continues to grow.
“We will action this feedback immediately, starting with a top-to-toe overhaul of issues like neighbourhood planning, carparking ratios, growth management and a review of building heights in areas of concern.
“Further, to ensure locals can stay up-to-the-minute on every single development, plan, and strategy that impacts their property and our region - I can announce that we are developing an interactive region-wide planning map to be launched this year.
“This is an unprecedented commitment to transparency and community engagement with regards to planning, which has been a major complaint from locals, so I’m proud to lead a group of Councillors with the resolve to step up and fix some of the issues of the past.
“I’m also proud to announce that our second biggest allocation of funds this year (after roads and transport) is for local parks and our environment, with an impressive $61 million investment.
“This is in direct response to the concerns of residents about the impacts of development, so we’re increasing the regional infrastructure environment charge from $84 to $90 per property this year to ensure we can continue to purchase and protect sensitive environments.
“Last year we bought 4.1 hectares of habitat in Clear Mountain, we currently have another 3.9 hectares under contract in Caboolture and this financial year we will plant at least 148,000 new trees.
“It’s clear we need to do more to ensure Council’s services align with the needs and priorities of our community, so we will be developing a new corporate plan.”
Council’s new strategic direction will be built around five pillars:
- Supporting a progressive economy
- Creating healthy environments
- Designing thriving communities
- Delivering a well planned region
- A proactive and engaged Council.
A number of community engagement activities are being planned, so the new Corporate Plan can commence on 1 July 2022.
Mayor Flannery said this was proactive planning for the future that will ensure greater community buy-in on Council’s decisions.
“This year we will build on the foundations laid in 2020 with the launch of our new Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) by delivering a breadth of visionary projects to address tomorrow’s challenges today.
“Our objective is to put Moreton Bay Region on the national map, by attracting major investment and jobs growth to sustain future generations to achieve our ‘Bigger, Bolder, Brighter’ targets.
“We’ve already commenced this ambitious agenda by taking long awaited projects out of the “too hard basket” and making them a reality.
“Like the construction of a new $68 million Youngs Crossing Bridge which will start in 2022 thanks to a contribution of nearly $33 million from the Federal Government and a commitment from the State Government to secure another $10 million.
“Most importantly, we went back to the drawing board on this project to redesign and realign this bridge, so that it now reflects the feedback we received from our community.
“This is a prime example of how this Council is not only working to improve our relationship with governments but also working to improve the trust residents have in their Council.
“There is no denying or avoiding the significant growth pressures Moreton Bay Region faces but this Budget rises to the challenges of tomorrow with the confidence of knowing there’s nothing we can’t achieve together.
“Just as we are responding to COVID-19 together, today we begin the next stage in Moreton Bay Region’s transformation together.”
Highlights of Budget 2021-22:
- $174 million for road and transport networks
- $61 million for parks and environment
- $59.6 million for waste management
- $25 million for waterways and coastal areas
- $20.1 million for sport and recreation
- $20.1 million for libraries, arts, community and history
- $1.6 million to plan better communities and manage growth.
View the video transcript