Council keeps rate rise below CPI in challenging economic environment


Livingstone Shire Council has today officially adopted its 2022-23 budget with a focus on maintaining community assets and a high level of service, while keeping rate increases under CPI.

Mayor Andy Ireland said the $144 million budget leverages strong local economic growth but is also mindful of the sharp increase in the cost of living, which is being felt in every household.

“Despite the extremely challenging economic environment with a soaring consumer price index (CPI), we have managed to keep the average residential rate rise to 4.11%. This will allow Council to generate a small operating surplus of $94,000.

“That equals an extra $3.37 per week which is less than a takeaway coffee, and is on par with, or less than, many other Councils around the state.

“Brisbane’s CPI is currently sitting at 6% and the entire Council team has worked very hard to deliver a fair budget, with a rate rise well under CPI.

“While last year’s budget saw a zero percent rate increase, inflationary pressures are at a level unsustainable for Council to continue to absorb additional cost increases. We understand the cost pressures each household is facing, and increasing rates is not a decision Council made lightly.

“In addition to massive costs increases, this budget has also been dealt a blow by many external pressures including a reduction in government grants, as well as Queensland Government issued land valuations jumping by as much as 60% in some rating categories. I am aware that some beachfront residential properties have had their valuations almost double.

“All rating categories are based on valuations, so when valuations increase by this much it becomes a challenge to keep rate increases down.

“It’s also important to Council to bring some relief in this budget for those really struggling and we have provided close to a million dollars in rates rebates for pensioners, sporting and not-for-profit organisations.

“Council’s 10% discount also remains for those ratepayers who pay their rates on time.

“While I know this budget may not meet expectations of all residents, I assure everyone these decisions have been made after comprehensive deliberations with the goal of providing the best outcome for our community.”

The 2022-23 budget was prepared through nine months work by all Councillors with the support of the organisation and included community consultation with feedback considered by Councillors prior to adoption at today’s meeting.

Budget highlights

  • Total budget of $144 million. Forecast operating surplus of $94,000
  • Average residential ratepayer will pay a 4.11% increase on rates and charges
  • Capital works program $44 million ($30.5 million funded through capital grants and subsidies)
  • Reducing total borrowings to $54.4 million (down $5.6million)
  • Providing $0.9 million in rate rebates for pensioners, sporting, not-for-profits, and nature refuge assessments
  • Providing $0.9 million in donations/contributions/sponsorships