WATCH: Gladstone's budget - 4.08% increase in rates

WHILE some ratepayers will see their general rates bill reduce slightly this year, others in the Gladstone Region will see some significant increases.

The council's budget, which was released this morning, shows 46% of residential property owners will see their general rate cost drop by 0.04%.


>> What you get for $100 of rates money

>> What the Mayor said in her budget speech

>> Chapman Drive set for major upgrade

>> Key rural roads given priority

>> Five things the council will be spending money on

>> Gladstone council budget: At a glance

However, 25% are set to receive a general rate increase of 5%, while the balance can expect varying increases between 5% and 10%.

When fixed charges are taken into account, for items such as wastewater treatment, rubbish collection and disposal, a typical residential ratepayer can expect to see an overall increase of 4.08% in this year's rates bill.

Mayor Gail Sellers, in her budget speech this morning, said the council had endeavoured to keep rate increases to a minimum by reducing the council's costs.

This has been achieved by "embarking upon business improvement initiatives across all of its activities, constantly reviewing service levels to ensure that ratepayers receive maximum benefit from their rates, and minimising revenue pressure by critically  reviewing expenditure," she said.

"When compared to the 2014/15 adopted budget, expenditure measures represent an organisational saving of $4.2 million and a reduction of 3.08 percent in the council's operational costs."

Cr Sellers said the council would spend $19.23 million in loan repayments this financial year, reducing its loan burden by $9.98 million to $158.1 million.

The council will spend $80.83 million in capital expenditure items, including $47.5 million in infrastructure repair and replacement projects, such as road resealing of $5.45 million and gravel resheeting of roads of $2.49 million through the region.

Chapman Dr at Clinton will receive a $3.46 million road reconstruction, and $1.4 million will be spent on repairs to the Matthew Flinders bridge which provides access to the Gladstone Marina.

Water and sewerage replacement projects will cost $12.04 million, which will include the Miriam vale and Boyne Island waste water treatment plants.

Recreational facilities will receive a boost in the coming year, with the Alf Larson/Lions Park redevelopment at Miriam Vale, stages 1 and 2, costing $3.8 million, and Liz Cunningham Park at Calliope a further $1.5 million.

The council is budgeting for a projected operating surplus of $3.3m (or 1.95% of operating expenditure) for 2015/2016, which is a slight improvement on the long term plan forecast of a $2.2m surplus, and a significant improvement over the 2014/2015 adopted budget of a $2.5m deficit.

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