Council Gears Up For A Big Few Years – Budgets And Plans Adopted For This Council Term
At the 22 June Extraordinary Council meeting, Council adopted the supporting budget and plans for the Shire’s newly released Community Strategic Plan (CSP). The supporting plans are Council’s Operational Plan and Budget 2022–23, Delivery Program 2022–26 and Resourcing Strategy 2022–32.
These plans outline what activities Council will undertake during this term of Council. They are Council’s commitment to the community goals set in the CSP and how those goals will be achieved. The plans also identify the resources Council will use in the process.
Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor Mark Johnson said, “With the community’s help, Council have worked hard to develop a budget that will meet the Shire’s needs now and into the future.”
“With record-level investment in rural roads, water infrastructure and significant improvements to much-loved community facilities, we are making our Shire a more vibrant and desirable place to be.”
“I am also pleased to announce that additional revenue from the approved special 2.28% rate variation will be directed towards two key community priorities Council heard during consultation”, added Mayor Johnson.
“Firstly, from 1 July 2022, Council will temporarily reduce the pool entry fees to the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre (MAAC) for Shire residents and ratepayers and will change the concession entry eligibility criteria.
“Council understands the closure of the 50 m pool has impacted the community, and we want to ensure what we are asking the community to pay is fair and reasonable while the facility is being upgraded”, said Mayor Johnson.
The MAAC entry fees will be reviewed in June 2023 as part of the regular annual review of Council’s budget. Concession entry fees at the Mungindi pool will also be reduced this financial year.
“Secondly, an additional $315,000 will be put towards unsealed road network projects. Our roads are critical to our Shire’s economy and wellbeing and a safe, accessible and reliable road network remains an ongoing priority of Council”, acknowledged Mayor Johnson.
Council was successful in its recent application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a special 2.28% rate variation, which will bring Council’s budgeted surplus for the 2022/23 financial year to almost $1.135 million. This adds an increase of $386,411 to the $748,171 surplus reported in the Draft Budget under the previous 0.7% rate peg—a rate peg that was well below the Shire’s historical 2.3% rate average and the current 5.1% inflation rate.
Council’s Acting General Manager Nick Tobin said this year’s budget puts Council in a strong position to deliver priority infrastructure projects in the coming years.
“Moree Plains is gearing up for significant growth, and Council’s sound financial management will help position the region to take full advantage of the transformation. It also enables Council to deliver core services to Moree and the wider community”, said Mr Tobin.
“Some highlights of the Budget are $77 million for capital and non-capital projects, including $17.8 million for roads; preliminary design work for sewer and drainage improvements in Pallamallawa and a range of community amenity, sporting and cultural facility improvements in Moree, Mungindi and villages.”
View the supporting documents HERE
Photo - From left: Mayor Mark Johnson, Cr Mike Montgomery AM, Deputy Mayor Susannah Pearse, Cr Mekayla Cochrane, Cr Lisa Orchin and Acting General Manager Nick Tobin.