Handing down the Budget this week alongside my fellow councillors was bittersweet.
Our city is in a strong financial position, but many people are feeling increased pressures from the rising cost of living.
Our record budget of just over $1 billion is a responsible and considered budget that is building on today for a brighter tomorrow.
As a council we are focussed on the big picture. This budget is not about band-aid solutions. The plans we put in place now are the foundations to achieve our vision for future generations.
Last year we set the wheels in motion to support the needs of our communities by committing $20 million a year to build vital community infrastructure.
Libraries, pools, community centres and performing arts spaces are just some of the facilities you will see delivered out of this fund over the next decade.
We will continue building towards our future with a commitment of $38 million over five years for local sporting facilities.
The Sport and Recreation Facilities Program will focus on grassroots sport. I’m hugely passionate about this commitment. It will mean new or upgraded clubhouses, changing rooms and toilets, car parks, fields and courts for our many dedicated sporting clubs in the city.
Our community and sporting organisations are part of our city’s fabric. They play a vital role in building connections and making our city a fun and healthy place to live.
We remain committed and on-track to be a carbon neutral council by the end of this year. This budget will see the installation of solar panels at three additional council-owned sites – adding to the 2.5 megawatts of solar capacity now in operation.
We have also committed $9 million towards building an advanced recycling facility at Browns Plains in partnership with Ipswich and Redland councils.
While there is plenty to be proud about, this budget has not been without its challenges.
Like all businesses we too are feeling downward pressure from rising costs and inflation.
We are still managing the fall-out from the recent floods with a damage bill of $4 million dollars and counting. We have a long 18 months ahead to repair our road network, parks and sporting facilities.
The cost of bitumen, concrete and steel continues to soar, but we cannot afford to put the brakes on projects that our residents and businesses expect to be delivered.
The 2022/23 budget will set up the city for not just today, but for generations to come.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow councillors and council staff for working diligently to bring down another responsible budget for our community.
We are indeed ‘building on today for a brighter tomorrow’.