Planning focus in record council budget

Planning focus in record council budget

Record capital expenditure with a focus on improving planning across the region are expected to be hallmarks of Moreton Bay Regional Council’s 2021-22 Budget, when it is handed down on June 18.

Moreton Daily understands rates will rise but Mayor Peter Flannery says Council had worked hard to keep them low.

Almost $16 million in road resurfacing contracts has been awarded to two companies, including Narangba contactor Suncoast Asphalt and Downer Group to resurface 81km of road in 173 individual projects.

“This is a record Budget. There is a record capital spend to keep our economy strong and deliver better roads and infrastructure. But that’s exactly what you’d expect in the face of massive population growth,” Mayor Flannery says.

He says Council has spent the past year listening to the concerns of locals, so 2021-22 will be a year of action.

“As we analyse feedback and data from the landmark Moreton Says survey, there are two things that are absolutely clear about what residents want us to do this year: they want us to do regional planning differently and they want greater protections for our environment and lifestyle,” Mayor Flannery says.

Five pillars of delivery

From this year, Council will restructure its operations to be focused on five new pillars of delivery: supporting a progressive economy; creating healthy environments; designing thriving communities; delivering a well-planned region; and being a proactive and engaged Council.

“We’ve already commenced this ambitious agenda by taking long awaited projects out of the ‘too hard basket’ and making them a reality,” he says.

“Like the construction of a new $68 million Youngs Crossing Bridge which will be complete by December 2023 thanks to a contribution of nearly $33 million from the Federal Government and a commitment from the State Government to secure another $10 million.

“More importantly, we acted on feedback from locals to redesign and realign this bridge and address community concerns.

“So, not only are we working to improve our relationship with governments, we’re also working to improve our relationship with residents.”

Mayor Flannery says that includes hiring more staff to provide a better level of service, guaranteeing pensioner rebates to support older residents and acting on calls to award contracts to more local businesses.

“I hope residents can see that this Budget is about creating a new kind of Council with a willingness to fix historical issues they have concerns about - like our planning scheme,” he says.

“We are committed to getting planning right, which means reviewing everything from grassroots issues to long-term population management.”

Chance to have your say

Mayor Flannery says Council will seek residents’ feedback on its review of building heights and car parking ratios, and it will be trialling a neighbourhood planning initiative, activating more parks and playgrounds and launching an interactive planning map. The tool will allow residents to see what developments are underway, what is planned, what is possible and the impact they might have on their properties.

“This Budget is a coming-of-age Budget for our growing region. This year we will build on the foundations laid in 2020 with the launch of our new regional Economic Development Strategy to put Moreton Bay Region on the national map,” he says.

“This means working to attract major investment and to create jobs that will sustain future populations.

“There will be growing pains that come with this, but we know that with good planning our current growth trajectory will be the basis of future prosperity for generations to come.”

Follow our Council Budget 2021-22 coverage on Moreton Daily as it is handed down on June 18, from 9am.

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