Financial sustainability, the future of Beaudesert’s Pig and Calf Saleyard, investment in community sporting facilities and minimising rate rises are among points the community raised about the Scenic Rim Regional Council draft 2023-24 Budget.
Council accepted feedback on its draft budget from 5 April to 3 May and ran community consultation sessions at Boonah, Beaudesert and Tamborine Mountain.
At the Beaudesert session on 26 April, the Beaudesert Bulletin counted 26 people including at least a dozen community members, Mayor and Councillors, General Managers and staff.
In the draft budget, Council flagged an average rates rise of 7.9 per cent and an increase of about 11 per cent to waste charges.
In an engaged dialogue, participants weighed in with questions and commentary.
Beaudesert’s Ray Folley applauded the emphasis on sustainability and asked if Council was continuing with ‘zero based budgeting’.
Council Sustainability General Manager Oliver Pring confirmed this to be the case.
“Everything starts off at zero and (officers) have to justify expenditure around all aspects,” he said.
Kagaru farmer David Brennan queried why rate rises were above inflation, garnering a response from Mr Pring about the multifaceted nature of setting rates.
Beaudesert Soccer Club President Kieron Walsh said Selwyn Park, which is overlooked by a volunteer committee, was missing out and needed more Council support to secure funding.
Asset and Environmental Sustainability Manager Chris Gray said a review of sporting infrastructure would go to Council and officers had applied for funding to light Selwyn Park.
In response to a question from the Bulletin about $100,000 allocated for ‘Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation – Pig & Calf Saleyard Site’, Mr Gray could not provide much detail.
“The $100,000 is an approximate value put in the budget for some works to be carried out there. A report is yet to be provided to Council by officers with options, certainly we understand there will be a level of consultation required. The funding that is there is a reasonable assessment by officers of what could achieve something on the site. I’m not in a position to make any more comment other than that,” he said.
Council plans to table all submissions received in print and online on 9 May, with the final 2023-24 Budget to be tabled for adoption on 14 June. At time of print, Council’s ‘Let’s Talk Scenic Rim’ online portal showed 9 responses were received via their online feedback forms.