Budget gets the balance right

Date published: 23 June 2021

Townsville City Council’s 2021/22 Budget has struck the right chord in meeting the needs of today while setting the foundation to grow and develop the city for the future.

Releasing the $743.1 million financial blueprint today, Mayor Jenny Hill said the Council’s strong financial management meant it was heading into the new financial year on good footing and importantly, without the need for a rate rise.

The 2021/22 Budget has no increase in general rates and wastewater charges and only small increases in water and waste charges which, for an average owner-occupier, will equate to less than $1 per week.

“It is a budget that provides significant investment in critical infrastructure and increased service levels and at the same time keeps downward pressure on rates,” Cr Hill said.

“The 2021-22 Budget is the first in a five-year plan of capital and operational commitments to grow Townsville into a sustainable, globally-connected community driven by innovation and lifestyle.

“Importantly, as our city continues to emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have been able to craft a budget that balances increasing costs of business without hitting homeowners.

“Despite the fact that there will be a small increase in water and waste charges, Townsville will continue to have among the cheapest water in Queensland.”

The Budget includes a $304.1 million capital spend on infrastructure across the city, which is forecast to support close to 900 jobs.

Around $136.2 million will be spent managing and improving local roads, $86 million will be spent upgrading and maintaining the 325 parks and open spaces across Townsville and $18.1 million will be invested in sustainable energy and environmental works and restoration.

Cr Hill said the Budget also included $14.7 million for community safety, which was a key priority for the city.

This includes maintaining and monitoring the city’s network of more than 500 CCTV cameras as well as security and surveillance, street lighting and other supporting infrastructure.

Council will continue to offer one of the State’s most attractive pensioner concession schemes at a cost of $5.6 million, while $10.3 million will be invested in concessions, grants, sponsorships and partnerships dedicated to directly supporting the community.

“Townsville has worked hard to establish itself as the events capital of Northern Australia and Council will continue to invest in lifestyle, culture, events and tourism through a $40.8 million budget allocation,” Cr Hill said.

“Our Budget is fiscally and operationally responsible and sets the foundation for long-term growth, ensuring Townsville’s future as a sustainable, vibrant and prosperous city.”