Mareeba Shire Council’s 2023/24 Annual Budget was handed down at a Special Council Meeting today.
In handing down the Council’s 2023/24 budget, Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin is confident that Council will continue to operate within its means while being cognisant of the financial pressures faced by our ratepayers.
Mayor Toppin said, “I am proud to present this fourth budget as Mayor of Mareeba Shire Council. As a Council, financial sustainability remains one of our cornerstones, and the decisions we make today has a direct impact on the financial sustainability of the Shire in the future.”
“Council is conscious of the impact that rates have on our community, and we have done what we can to reduce expenditure and limit these impacts. Due to the inflationary pressure, Council has implemented a general rate increase of 3.98% for the 2023/24 financial year, which is required to ensure services are maintained and the community’s assets are kept at an acceptable standard.”
Highlights from the budget includes:
Capital Works Program totalling $22.8 million
Council remains committed in maintaining essential services while delivering a significant capital works program totalling $22.8 million.
This works program is focused on renewal of existing assets, with the main elements of this program including $7.67 million spend on transport infrastructure, $5.69 million investment on wastewater infrastructure and $2.63 million spend on water infrastructure.
Enhancements to the Shire’s community facilities and active recreation assets are also included in this year’s budget with a combined budget of $4.5 million.
This recognises the importance of improving liveability for residents while pursuing responsible asset management practices. The revitalised Bicentennial Lakes project in Mareeba will reap significant benefits for Mareeba Shire residents and visitors alike.
The renewal of the Atherton Street Pump Station is also planned, and Council is actively seeking grant funding to bring the $2.55 million project to fruition.
Continued Commitment to Our Water Strategy
Council continues to work towards the commitments in the 10-Year Water Strategy, with major projects planned for 2023/24 including $1.6 million allocation for the replacement of ageing water pipes across the Shire which are reaching the end of their useful life.
This work is critical in preventing large scale interruptions to the water supply network.
Community Facilities, Culture and Libraries
Mareeba Shire Council has committed over $4.725 million to Community Facilities, Culture and Libraries for 2023/24.
Over $2 million has been allocated to Community facilities and Council buildings.
“Council recognises the important role these facilities play across the shire, and with this commitment, various clubs and organisations will be able to continue delivering their projects and events,” Mayor Toppin said.
“I am also happy to report that $625K has been allocated to Community partnerships and events. Much of what makes Mareeba Shire Council so liveable is thanks to our passionate volunteers, sportspeople, and club members, and this commitment in the 2023/24 budget will contribute to many and wonderful events and partnerships.”
“Libraries have received a budget of $1.02M and our swimming pools a budget of just over $800K. This funding is crucial to the liveability of our Shire, and I invite residents to make use of these important facilities.”
“There are four libraries located within the Mareeba Shire, all providing an extensive variety of materials to borrow including books, DVDs, magazines, and audio books. Our libraries offer free internet and computer access, and a collection of children’s activities, visit Council’s website for more information,” Mayor Toppin concluded.