Mayor hands down balanced budget with record capital expenditure.

Mareeba Shire Council has adopted a balanced budget with record capital expenditure for the 2019/20 financial year.

With a $27.7 million capital works program, Mayor Tom Gilmore said the budget focuses on ensuring Council is able to continue to provide for the community. “This budget follows a tradition, with an unwavering view to ensuring the financial future of the Shire,” he said.

“This Council has for the past five budgets followed a plan for the long-term stability of Council finances, planned and scheduled maintenance of roads, sewerage, water and built assets.”

To ensure Council is able to continue to provide services at a high level of efficiency to the communities, a 2.5% increase has been applied to general rates, utilities and service charges; and an additional 0.5% to contribute to rebuildingĀ  Council reserves.

Council will invest $12.8 million in capital transport infrastructure, including an allocation of $6.5 million towards road maintenance and upgrades and the delivery of a $1.3 million reseals program.

Over the next 12 months, Council will spend $3.5 million to maintain and improve parks and gardens, $2 million to support health and regulatory services and close to $1 million will be invested in tourism promotion and economic development activities for the Shire.

Councillor Gilmore said that over $19 million has been allocated to bolster water, waste and sewerage services across the Shire, including a $1.3 million sewer relining program to maintain ageing infrastructure and the upgrade of Kuranda’s Barang Street pump station. “Council will match the State Government’s contribution to upgrade the pump station at Barang Street in Kuranda,” he said.

“The pump station is near the Jumrum rainforest walking trail and the upgrade will prevent overflows onto the trail and into the Creek.”

Council has allocated over $3 million in capital funding to maintain community facilities.

“The filtration systems at both the Dimbulah and Mareeba Swimming Pools will be replaced in the next financial year, while money has been set aside for the heating of the Mareeba Swimming Pool,” Cr Gilmore said.

“Through State Government funding, Council has also set aside $500,000 for the upgrade of the Mareeba Animal Refuge and pound facility and has been in discussions with the manager of the Refuge to see a purpose-built facility constructed in the near future,” he said.

Councillor Gilmore thanked both the Federal and State Governments for their continued contributions to the budget through annual financial assistance grants and project-specific grants which allow for the continuing development of the Shire infrastructure.