A positive budget

Article image - A positive budget Council’s recently completed culvert project on Poison Creek Road just outside Cooktown.

Cook Shire Council, Queensland, has chosen to adopt a ‘responsible and realistic’ budget for the coming year prioritising renewal of existing infrastructure and maintaining services.

Mayor, Peter Scott, said Council’s budget was a positive and realistic response to the financial challenges presented by a lack of own-source revenue.

“Our general rates of $3.7 million contribute just 11.7 percent of Council’s operating expenditure.

“All other expenditure, including staff costs, operational programs and capital works, is grant funded.

“I would like to highlight that this funding is not guaranteed, and we are reliant on our highly skilled council staff to secure this financial support that ensures the financial stability of our shire.”

The Mayor said Council’s operating position was an improvement on the past two financial years.

“Council’s improved financial position is a result of our strong budgeting process, with clear guidelines around expenditure increases, limited contingency budgeting and a competitive submission budgeting process for capital works and operational initiatives.”

General land rates have gone up by a responsible three percent, as have sewerage, rubbish collection and water charges.

“Our capital works budget is over $51 million, however only $3.5 million of that will be funded by Council, with the remainder from grant funding.

“Key capital works projects include upgrades to all Council airports, a dog off leash area, sealing of Savage Street and renovation of the Shire Hall and the Gateway to the Cape project.”