Easing the burden – Investing in affordability measures to support community

Date published: 29 June 2023

Townsville City Council’s 2023/24 Budget and Operational Plan reflects Council’s commitment to delivering affordability measures to support the community in the face of rising costs of living.

Council has handed down its budget at yesterday’s Ordinary Council Meeting and Mayor Jenny Hill said Council’s $29.6 million investment in affordability measures would help to ease the financial burden on residents.

“We understand the current financial challenges faced by our residents, and this budget reflects our commitment to not add to these pressures,” Cr Hill said.

“Council's responsible and robust financial management has enabled us to continue to allocate funds towards delivering for the community including concessions, grants, sponsorships, prompt payment discounts, partnerships and community peppercorn leases at a time when the cost of living is rising.

“By investing in affordability measures, managing costs and responsible financial management, Council aims to reduce  the financial burden on Townsville residents.”

The 2023/24 budget continues several key initiatives to improve affordability and enhance Townsville residents' quality of life. These initiatives include:

Concessions: Residents may be eligible for various concessions designed to provide financial assistance across essential services such as water, rates and other utilities.

First Home Buyers Incentive: Council will provide grants to eligible first home buyers, assisting them to realise their dream of home ownership and stimulate the local property market.

Peppercorn Leases: Council will offer community organisations the opportunity to lease Council facilities at a nominal cost, enabling them to pursue their activities and target their services where it is needed for the community’s well-being.

City Activation and Jobs Growth Incentive: Continuing last year’s successful incentive package and boosting economic growth and job creation, Council will continue incentives to encourage business activity and attract new investments to the city.

Grants: Council has allocated funds for community grants, enabling not-for-profit organisations to continue their valuable work serving our community.

Community Events: Townsville residents can anticipate a vibrant calendar of free events, providing entertainment and fostering community engagement without the burden of additional costs.

Business Services and Finance Committee chairperson Margie Ryder said two notable initiatives were pensioner concessions and the value of water discounts for sporting clubs, providing them with substantial cost savings.

“Council’s pensioner concessions program is recognised as one of the most generous in Queensland and this budget includes considerable support for prompt payment discounts and pensioner concessions, totalling $19.1 million,” Cr Ryder said.

“Sporting clubs in Townsville will also benefit through discounts ranging from 50 to 90 per cent on their water bills, allowing them to allocate more resources towards their sporting activities and grass-root development.” Cr Ryder said.

Football Queensland General Manager Northern Region Declan Carnes said the support provided by Council has made a huge difference.

“We are thrilled with the support provided by Council through the water discounts for sporting clubs,” Mr Carnes said.

“This initiative reduces some of our operational costs and allows us to invest more into our facilities and training programs.

“We look forward to working with Council and appreciate their commitment to the sporting community.”

For more information visit Council's 2023/24 Budget and Operational Plan page.

Football Queensland General Manager Northern Region Declan Carnes and Mayor Jenny Hill
Caption: Football Queensland General Manager Northern Region Declan Carnes and Mayor Jenny Hill