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.
Cr Manning said the results show that Cairns Regional Council was consistently among the lowest rating councils in the state.
“This will be the sixth year that Council has handed down rate rises at, or below, CPI and since 2013 we have continued to hand down balanced budgets,” Cr Manning said.
“We have delivered $870 million in Capital Works over the past six years and when you take into account this financial year ($164.7 million), that number will exceed $1 billion in total.
“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.”
Benchmarking was carried out across four categories:
- A residential property (excluding strata and flats) paying the minimum rate – this represents 21% 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; and
- A strata title property paying the minimum rate – this represents 88% 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,” Cr Manning said.
“Our water pricing is lower than all other council areas surveyed, while our charges for cleansing, sewerage and water access are competitive.
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.