Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes. Contributed

CHRC budget a winner for facilities and roads

RESIDENTS in the Central Highlands will benefit from improvements to the airport, roads and community infrastructure and facilities this year. This follows Central Highlands Regional Council's adoption of its $218million 2019-2020 budget this week.

The new budget contains a $72.3million capital works program, with $16million committed to the resurfacing of the Emerald Airport runway and $9.51million for rehabilitation and re-sheeting works on council's sealed and unsealed road network.

Various improvements will also be made to community infrastructure and facilities, with 280 capital projects planned for completion.

Operational items include $1.5million for the preparation of a business case investigating upgrades to the Capricorn Highway to Codenwarra Rd and $22.6million in rural roads maintenance.

Mayor Kerry Hayes said the budget continued its responsive strategy to prevailing economic conditions, with an overall average increase of 3per cent in general rates.

"Council has adopted an operating deficit this year as we have made a conscious and critical decision to invest in the region's future now,” he said.

"Setting the budget is always a difficult balancing act of managing expectations for council, running this business like a business, and positioning community services and operations to match the changing economic environment and aspirations for the region.

"This budget sticks to those principles and shows we remain committed to providing value and creating liveable regional communities.”

Water consumption and access charges will increase by an average of 4.8per cent. Sewerage charges will increase by $25 per annum.

Waste management charges will increase by 3 per cent while the full implication of the Queensland Government's drive to reduce waste to landfill is considered and the compliance requirements of the Department of Environment and Science are met.


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