24 June 2021
Ipswich City Council has released its Annual Budget for 2021-22, one that plans for the city’s bright future while managing the needs of today.
As part of today’s special meeting, council announced a 2.75 per cent average residential rates rise as part of its $530 million 2021-22 Budget.
Mayor Teresa Harding said council had found a balance between limiting the financial impact on ratepayers and residents, while ensuring it is preparing the city for future growth and opportunities.
“We are laying the foundations to secure the future Ipswich deserves. We are balancing the needs of our community today, so we’re equipped to meet the needs of tomorrow,” Mayor Harding said.
“For the first time in a long time, council has a strategic long-term plan for Ipswich and is now delivering on that vision.
“This Budget is a positive step towards a bright and prosperous future for Ipswich.”
Mayor Harding said the 2021-22 Budget was part of the new Annual Plan, which also included its iFuture document: a 20-year community vision and council’s new five-year corporate plan.
“iFuture is driving council’s strategic planning. It will guide council’s decisions and actions over the next five years, moving towards the community’s 20-year vision for Ipswich,” said Mayor Harding.
“iFuture is built on what our community sees as the important steps towards our future. It reflects how people want Ipswich to look and feel like by the year 2041.
“The community’s input into iFuture will guide the decisions council makes around future projects and services.”
As part of the 2021-22 Annual Budget, council is also expanding its investment into the roads and infrastructure that connects our communities and keeps our economy moving.
Council’s three-year capital program for 2021-2024 has been boosted to $434 million.
The 2021-22 portion is $156 million, made up of corporate projects $58,821,000 and infrastructure and environment projects $96,778,000.
The significant spends include:
Mayor Harding said council was under enormous scrutiny by residents and the broader business community and it was vital council spent ratepayer money wisely.
“We have our eye firmly on the future our community wants for Ipswich; we are planning for it and we are investing in it,” said Mayor Harding.
“We want people to view our council as transparent and honest with its spending of public money; that we are making the tough decisions to ensure we’re meeting the demands of our growing community.
“Together we are making an impact. We want everyone to join us, invest and grow with us and, most importantly, trust and back us as your council.”
Mayor Harding announced the 2021-22 Annual Budget also saw a reduction in the deficit from $4.6 million, as forecast last year, to $1.8 million. This will return to a small surplus of $1 million in 2022-23.
Waste management charges, for the weekly collection of red and yellow top bins, would increase slightly from $371 to $377, while the green waste charge would remain at $80 a year.
In terms of levies, the rural fire levy would remain at $3 which supports the essential work of our rural fire brigades, while council had taken the bold step to increase the Enviroplan Levy from $46 to $51.
“As council was undertaking community consultation for its new iFuture plan, the importance of being natural and sustainable came through loud and clear,” Mayor Harding said.
“This council has shown it has strong environmental credentials and is spending today to make a better future for Ipswich.”
Mayor Harding said the past 12 to 18 months had been financially challenging times both locally and globally, and these impacts were reflected in the Commonwealth and State budgets as well as those of neighbouring councils.
“When this council was sworn in in April 2020, the community told us that “Ipswich deserves more”.
“Leading our city is a significant responsibility. It’s not one this council takes lightly. We recognise that every cent of ratepayer funds must represent an investment in a better future.
“Today, council is delivering on its commitment to invest in a bright and prosperous future for the City of Ipswich.”