Cairns ratepayers are paying some of the lowest rates and utility charges in the state when compared to similar local government areas.
In an annual benchmarking exercise, Cairns Regional Council has assessed itself against 11 other Queensland local government areas with populations of 100,000 people or more.
Benchmarking was carried out across four categories:
- A residential property (excluding strata and flats) paying the minimum rate – this represents 21 per cent of residential properties in the Cairns Regional Council area.
- A residential property (excluding strata and flats) with a valuation of $190,000 which is the median valuation for the Cairns Regional Council area.
- A residential property (excluding strata and flats) with the median valuation within its own local government area.
- A strata title property paying the minimum rate – this represents 88 per cent of strata title properties in the Cairns Regional Council area.
Cairns rated the lowest in three of those categories and second lowest to Brisbane in residential property with a with a valuation of $190,000 valuation.
“To compare this favourably against other large councils is particularly noteworthy,” Mayor Bob Manning said.
“It shows that we are delivering value for Cairns ratepayers.”
Cr Manning said that despite the challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic, Cairns ratepayers were still getting value for money.
“As a new Council, when we sat down to consider this Budget, our focus was very much on the present challenges facing our region, and how we could stimulate our local economy whilst keeping any burden on ratepayers to a minimum,” Cr Manning said.
“I was able to announce that this was the seventh year that this Council would hand down a rate rises at, or below, CPI.
“In delivering these low rate rises, we have still managed to maintain a significant Capital Works program.
“In fact, this year we announced a record $181 million Capital Works program, which is aimed at supporting the local economy at this difficult time.
“That means, over the past seven years, this Council has delivered more than $1.2 billion in Capital Works.”
Cr Manning said the organisation would continue to find more operating efficiencies with a view to reducing any future rate rises.
“As a financial disciplined organisation, we are continually looking for ways to do more with less, so we can meet the community’s expectations around service delivery without having to subject ratepayers to higher rates and charges,” he said.
The local government areas included in the benchmarking exercise are: Brisbane, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Redlands, Logan, Moreton Bay, Toowoomba and Fraser Coast.