THE 2023-24 council budget has come under sharp attack from State Member for Bundamba, Lance McCallum who this week accused the council of neglecting the suburbs in favour of pouring more money into the CBD redevelopment..
While the ink of the budget paper is still drying the young MP criticised the council saying their budget failed to deliver cost of living relief or much needed services.
He pointed out that council’s budget will raise an extra $45.8 million through increases to rates, levies and charges to 2025-26.
“Bundamba households will pay an additional $103.50 to council during 2023-24, putting even more pressure on their budgets,” he said.
“This means that almost 20 per cent of the Palaszczuk Government’s $550 power bill rebate will be paid to Ipswich City Council to cover rates and charges increases.
“Our local households have been hit with an increase of 5.5 per cent just days after we announced the biggest cost of living relief measures in the country backed by power rebates of at least $550,” he said.
“We’ve seen another $53 million poured into the Nicholas Street Precinct, including an extra $5.5 million for a pub restoration that has been underway for five years and already cost ratepayers millions of dollars.
“I can understand why some councillors failed to support this budget.”
Mr McCallum said while it was pleasing to see funding for projects such as Ironbark Park clubhouse in South Ripley, the Redbank Plains Recreation Reserve carpark extension and Fernbrooke sports field lighting, council had neglected important infrastructure projects across the Bundamba community.
“Critical local roads including School Road at Redbank, Jones Road in Bellbird Park and Brisbane Terrace, Goodna remain in desperate need of repair and upgrades,” he said. “Unfortunately, their conditions will only continue to deteriorate as the council budget doesn’t provide funding for work on upgrades to commence, only more planning.
“We’ve been pleased to work with council on our ongoing flood recovery, and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority has already provided $20 million to council for costs associated with administering our Resilient Homes Fund.
“That is in addition to $49.15 million for recovery assistance that supports the clean-up and repair of community and recreational facilities, emergency works and regional grants.
“And this budget also includes a further $75 million provided under the joint state and federal Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.”
Mr McCallum said the Palaszczuk Government continued to do the heavy lifting when it came to tackling the cost of living.
“We will continue to back household budgets with bill relief,” he said.