2 February, 2024
Budget lift for local council
Somerset Regional Council’s budget for 2023-2024 will increase, following amendments made as part of the budget review process.
At the Ordinary Meeting on January 24, CEO Andrew Johnson said council had approved changes, which would result in overall budgeted expenditure of $151 million.
“In June 2023, council adopted a $125 million budget, which was the largest Somerset budget since the 2011 flood repairs,” he said.
“We have made several adjustments, primarily due to 2022 flood recovery works under Commonwealth State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
“These are some of the largest projects on our books, including the construction of the new Scrub Creek Road bridge, and they require significant funding to undertake the work required.
“Other changes approved as part of the budget review include preliminary funding for the $10m upgrade of Muckerts Lane and McCulkins Lane, which is jointly funded with the Australian Government, additional funding for major upgrades on Lowood Minden Road, funding irrigation upgrades at Kilcoy racecourse, the new Highland Street path in Esk, and more.
“The vast majority of budgeted expenditure is on externally funded flood restoration and capital projects.
“The change in the budget is also reflective of the dramatically increasing costs of materials, services and supplies, which would come as no surprise to many residents.
“We are still expecting a one-off operating deficit of around 4 per cent of operating revenue for 2023-2024 and we have put in place changes to the way we operate to help ensure that we produce long term modest surpluses going forward.”
The Queensland Audit Off ice has confirmed Somerset Regional Council’s financial sustainability in a report to Parliament, available at qao.qld.gov.au