Council adopt new system for equity

Burnie City Council have approved its 2011/12 Annual Plan and Budget Estimates.

Mayor Alvwyn Boyd said, “Council is very aware of the cost of living pressures impacting all aspects of the community and we are adopting a responsible budget in challenging times.”

Council adopted an overall 3% increase in the general rate, however due to an increase in waste management most ratepayers will see an overall increase of 3.9% in their rates notice.

Council determined from this year to apply a differential general rate for residential, vacant and primary production properties. There is also a differential general rate in place for the CBD and commercial properties in Upper Burnie, South Burnie, Cooee and Wivenhoe.

Mayor Boyd said, “Council recognised the inconsistencies across property classes with a single general rate and by introducing a differential rate system for residential, primary production and vacant land, Council can ensure that all property classes will receive a similar percentage increase in overall rates.

“It’s a significant change in our rating method, to help minimise the impact of fluctuations as a result of revaluations.”

Mayor Boyd said that Council’s single biggest challenge is the current landfill cell at Burnie reaching the end of its useful life.

“Council investigated a number of options, and determined that the most sustainable solution would be to construct a transfer station with waste transferred to a regional facilty outside the municipality.

“This ultimately means that waste service charges will increase as we migrate to this new waste disposal solution.

“Council was very aware of trying to limit the price rises for ratepayers. The majority of homes will pay less than $1 per week to cover this increase, with similar increases forecast for the coming four years, so that ratepayers are not hit with a large increase in one year.

“The waste we generate is something that together as a community we should all aim to lessen for both cost and environmental reasons,” he said.

Mayor Boyd said the Council’s Financial Management Strategy was used to guide Council through the budget deliberations.

“The 10 year strategy provides Council with a strategic framework when developing budgets with the key objective of ensuring sustainability whilst achieving the strategic objectives of Council.

“The Financial Management Strategy ensures that Council can not only pay for the services and projects in the next year, but can also afford to pay for them over the medium to long term.

“I am really pleased that we will be able to achieve many of our goals for the City while sensibly preparing for the future too,” Mayor Boyd said.

Council’s operating budget provides for an estimated income of $31.920m during 2011/12, and estimated expenses of $31.576m resulting in an operating surplus of $0.344m prior to accounting for capital grants of $2.817m to produce a comprehensive budgeted surplus of $3.161m.

For further information please contact

Libby Jowett
Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
(03) 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728