Russell Island on the Bay - Jun 27, 2013 02:47

Council Budget delivers for SMBI residents


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REDLAND City Council will effectively neutralise the financial impact of new TransLink services for the majority Southern Moreton Bay Island residents as part of its 2013-14 Budget.

Mayor Karen Williams said a reduction in the infrastructure component of general rates would offset the cost of extending the transport network from July 1.

“I am happy to announce that the extension of the TransLink network to the SMBI – and its subsequent boost to property values and connectivity – will come without an additional cost impact for the majority of islanders,” Cr Williams said.

“The extension of the TransLink network to the SMBI is the best thing that has happened to the islands, and islanders, for years.
“To make this happen after years of lobbying without success, we had to make a contribution to the Government, via a special charge.
“This is a win-win for islanders – they get the enormous advantages of cheaper travel via TransLink and accessibility to and from the SMBI and we have found a way to absorb the cost.

“The Budget offsets the levy cost of $85.46 on island properties by reducing the infrastructure component of rates by a similar amount.”

Cr Williams made the announcement when handing down Council’s 2013-14 Budget on Thursday 27 June, which included the lowest rates rise in South East Queensland.

“By absorbing many external costs rather than passing them on to ratepayers, we are able to hand down a Budget that includes a modest headline rates increase of only 1.43 per cent increase,” she said.

“For the average Redlands property this equates to 66 cents per week or about the price of a postage stamp.”

Cr Williams said it was a 3Rs Budget:
o It is responsive to the needs of residents and the cost of living pressures they are facing.

It is realistic in its objectives, balancing the needs of the community with the ability to pay for projects to set the foundations for the futureo It is responsible in its fiscal commitments, planning for the future of the city by keeping debt down.

“We are again focusing on the basics – putting our residents first and delivering the services they want,” she said.

Division Five Councillor Mark Edwards said SMBI residents would benefit from several key projects included in this year’s Budget.
“This includes all-ability access to the Lamb Island public toilets, which will include a new pathway to and around the public toilet, as well as infrastructure upgrades and improved lighting,” he said.

“Temporary pedestrian access will be provided to the jetty terminal and temporary toilets will be provided for the duration of the project, which is expected to be complete by the end of July, weather permitting.

“Other Budget items for SMBI include almost $760,000 to upgrade the Macleay Island Ramp Park, car park and boat ramp.

“Pontoons on Macleay and Russell islands will also be upgraded and $2 million has been set aside for future SMBI road projects.”

Some of the SMBI projects included in the 2013-14 Budget:

• Russell Island boat ramp upgrade: $370,000
• Russell Island pontoon upgrade: $40,000
• Russell Island Hall redevelopment: $50,000
• Macleay Island boat ramp upgrade: $412,500
• Macleay Island Bowls Club beach access ramp: $7500
• Macleay Island Bowls Club seawall: $20,000
• Macleay Island ramp park: $499,999.50
• Macleay Island ramp car park: $200,000
• Macleay Island boat ramp: $60,000
• Macleay Island pontoon upgrade: $50,000
• Macleay Island barge ramp (facility renewal): $40,000
• Karragarra Island beach access ramp: $7500
• Bay Islands capital Infrastructure Fund: $67,900
• Future SMBI road projects: $1,000,000
• SMBI road upgrade program: $1,000,000