5 July, 2022
Capital works key in Douglas budget
A $13.7 million capital works program consisting of nearly 60 projects has been announced as part of the 2022/23 Budget handed down by Douglas Shire Council last week.
The $53.6 million Budget features a significant works program including $4.7 million for transport and marine projects, $3.27 million for water supply improvements and upgrades, $1.83 million for council and community facilities, $1.5 million for resource management, $995,000 for plant and equipment, $905,000 for wastewater and $500,000 for drainage.
Council will spend more than $21 million on material and services, providing opportunities for local businesses.
For Category 1 property owners who live at the address, a 3.9 per cent general rate increase will be applied, meaning for a medianvalued property, they will pay an additional $43 per year, or 82 cents per week.
However, for a property in residential rating Category 5, where a ratepayer does not live at the address, the median rate increase will be $93 per year, or $1.78 per week.
“This was done by considering feedback from organisations and ratepayers when undertaking the review, as well as recent land valuations completed by the Department of Resources,” Mr Kerr said.
“Compared to other similar-sized regions across the state, Douglas is in a strong position and despite our small population, we are able to offer a wide, varied and high level of service to our rate base.
“I believe that this is a sensible budget which is designed to set this council up to weather the increasing challenges facing all governments and businesses in coming years.”
Douglas Mayor Michael Kerr said despite soaring costs and other challenges, the budget allowed for council to deliver infrastructure and services that the community deserved and required.
“We will be spending $1.1 million on expanding the Smart Water Meter Program to all properties with reticulated water supply in the Douglas Shire,” he said.
“Council is already saving 200 kilolitres of water or the equivalent of five backyard swimming pools every day after installing 900 meters during the first stage in Port Douglas earlier this year.”
The Mossman-to-Cooya Beach cycleway is nearing completion and another $190,000 will be spent on a design for the final stretch of the pathway from Cooya Beach back to the Captain Cook Highway and the design of a section from Captain Cook Highway to Lakeland Avenue in Port Douglas.