Budget 2011/12 - Extra costs from changes to State Government legislation
The cost of functions required under legislation by the Queensland Government is significant in the 2011/12 budget.
Mayor Ron Bellingham said that state requirements account for $1.556 million in the operational budget and $1.412 of capital costs in this year’s budget.
“Those are just the costs we can easily quantify,” Cr Bellingham said, “there will be other costs which are much more difficult to single out.”
This year $150,000 will be spent on a new weighbridge at Stanthorpe Waste Transfer Station and $70,000 will be spent securing unmanned waste stations in the Granite Belt due to the new state government waste levy which Council must collect.
Council will also spend $300,000 constructing facilities at the animal pound to accommodate cats, as required by the cat and dog animal management legislation.
By far the biggest ticket in capital works, $1.687 million, will go on upgrades to Storm King Dam required under the State’s dam safety guidelines in the Water Act 2000. Less government subsidies of $794,800, means ratepayers will pick up a tab of $892,200 for that project which must be done this year.
On the operational side, there is $100,000 for the new internal audit, $38,812 for increased risk management; and an extra $180,000 for Council’s external audit due to increased scope required by the state government from all Queensland Councils.
“We are also required to pay $200,000 to the Queensland Electoral Commission to run the local elections in March; this is nearly double the cost for Council to run the elections,” the Mayor said.
Dog and cat registration will cost the Council $170,215 in this financial year as the cost of this function far exceeds any revenue from registrations.
Also this year, Council must develop a new Community Plan to meet state legislation, this will cost $207,443.
A number of other changes to legislation, such as devolvement of noise pollution policing to Local Government and removal of meth labs which has recently become a Council responsibility, are impacting on the budget by diverting staff from core duties.