Rates to rise by 3percent, but some will jump by 25

The Goondiwindi Regional Council handed down its budget for the 2018-19 year on Monday.

And we’ll start with the good news.

Most ratepayers will see a rate rise of around 3 per cent and even less if they make use of Council’s discount period,which reduces your payment by 15 per cent, to 2.55 per cent, generally speaking.

“It’s a significant discount and I urge ratepaters to make use of it.”

“Just don’t depend on the post to get it to us and don’t jump on your computer at 11.30pm the night before the discount ends,” GRC Mayor Cr Graeme Scheu said.

The discount period ends on August 29.

But, and it’s a big but for those landowners and ratepayers whose land valuations have jumped over the past year, some by as much as 355 per cent.

Council has decided to make a rare decision to “cap” rates at  25 per cent for those at the extreme end of the spectrum.

Forty-six ratepayers will benefit from the cap in having their rate increase limited to 25 per cent; 190 will increase by more than 10 per cent  and 437 will see a decrease in rates.

Cr Scheu has urged all those affected to query the rise with the State Government.

River blocks and some commercial sites are the hardest hit.

Cr Scheu said he believed the cap was the fairest way to ease the burden of such a large and sudden rate rise.

“Whether the cap remains in place will be up to successive councils,” he said.

Of significance to those who don’t presently receive a bin collection service, they will now be charged a $50 waste management utility charge.

Cr Scheu said most shires have the fee which is often as much as $100 – $200.

He said it would help pay for the various dump sites throughout the region and various waste management projects outside Goondiwindi. “We believe it is fairer all round,” he said. 

Where your money will go

The Goondiwindi Regional Council Budget provides for $14.217m of capital work including: $608,000 to implement waste management facilities at Talwood, Toobeah and Inglewood and for repairs to Texas; $270,000 for bikeway/walkway extensions in Inglewood and Goondiwindi; $1.53m for Council gravel road re-sheeting and $1.275m for Council bitumen road resealing throughout the region; $1.68m to continue sealing and widening works on Goodar, Kondar, Minnel and Daymar-Weengallon Roads; $1.17m on water supply infrastructure replacements and renewals;​ ·$1.82m on sewerage system renewals and pipe relining, including $405,000 for stage one of the Inglewood plant renewal project.

“Council has undertaken significant work this year to better understand the condition and likely renewal costs of some of the $500,000,000 of assets that it controls,” GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme scheu said.

“Some long-life assets like sewerage and water systems have been in service for 50 years or more and these will require renewal in the not-too-distant future. Council has put in place a plan to ensure that funds are available to make this happen when required, without reducing the service to which we have grown accustomed.