Yesterday Lord Mayor Campbell Newman delivered his third Brisbane City Council Budget. What follows is an outline of some of the initiatives announced and a number of other issues that arise as a consequence of the unique political situation of a Liberal Lord Mayor and a Labor Majority in Council.
2. Policy Initiatives
The budget covers all areas of Council administration, however three areas of particular importance are discussed below.
In the midst of the worst drought in 100 years in South East Queensland, the Lord Mayor announced $60 million worth of water initiatives, which includes:
- $21 million to extract water from aquifer;
- $8.6 million to reduce pressure and improve leakage management; and
- $8.616 million for recycled water reuse at Australia Trade Coast
In further water related developments the current flat fee for water will be changed to a progressive system charging higher amounts for higher consumption.
b. Traffic and Transport
Beyond the $113 million dedicated to progressing the North-South Bypass Tunnel, Airport Link and the Hale Street Bridge, the following is planned for Traffic and Transport in Brisbane:
- $503 million allocated to improvements to the transport network;
- $36 million for 71 new buses; and
- $9 million for the active transport network
c. Rates, Fees and Charges
The rate headline coming out of the Lord Mayor’s speech is an average overall increase of 3.36% for residential owner occupied properties. Further rates and charges announcements include increases in the Sewerage Scheme Charges and Water Headworks Charges.
3. Other Issues
The Deputy Mayor and Majority Leader David Hinchliffe will deliver his reply to the budget tomorrow. In the week that follows each part of the budget will be debated on the floor of Council in turn. If the Labor Majority were to amend the document this is the time they would do so. On the timetable that has been set the budget will be passed either late on Thursday or early Friday next week, though technically the City of Brisbane Act 1935 only requires that it be passed by the end of June.
This Hawker Britton Occasional Paper was only meant as a brief overview of the 2006-07 Brisbane City Council Budget. For further information about the process so far, or ongoing information as the debate unfolds over the next week, please contact your Hawker Britton consultant. Further detail can be found at http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:STANDARD::pc=PC_136.