The Cook Shire Council (CSC) has adopted a “constrained and responsible” 2020-21 budget that will ensure continued levels of community service despite the significant decrease in revenue due to COVID-19.
The council’s budget was by necessity a conservative one following the wave of natural disasters in previous years and the current worldwide pandemic.
CSC Mayor Peter Scott has stated that the new budget was handed down taking into account the strain that COVID-19 has put on the members of the shire.
“We recognise the broad business and employment downturn and have halted or minimised rate increases despite our operational costs increasing in line and above the Consumer Price Index,” he said.
“Despite the challenges Council has been successful in obtaining grant funding.
“This funding will help to deliver a healthy capital works program and operational initiatives, boosting our local economy and communities.”
The CSC announced that general residential rates, light industry rates, caravan park, hotel and motel rates have not increased to better support the recovering local economy.
The capital works program budget is over $25 million with the majority of those funds being attained through grants.
Key projects that will be supported by the capital works are water and sewer works in Coen, Cooktown, Laura and Lakeland, upgrades to Jensen’s Crossing Bridge, Portland Roads intersections and Battlecamp Road and shade at the Cooktown waterfront.
“We have introduced a modest 1.5 per cent increase for primary and agricultural production and no increase for lifestyle fees such as pool and library fees,” Cr Scott said.
The full CSC budget documents and snapshot will be available on the CSC’s website at http://www.cook.qld.gov.au/