Budget 2021/2022

Rates Summary

Western Downs Regional Council is recognised as a financially intelligent and responsible Council, which is delivering real outcomes for the community. Our agile business model and proactive, sustainable planning for the future enabled Council to deliver a huge investment in recovery and economic stimulus for the region which supported the region through the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of our strategy to grow our region and plan for the future, Council has conducted a region-wide rates review to ensure our rating system is fair to all ratepayers and adequately reflects the cost of delivering services.  This means your next rates notice might look a little different.

Council collects rates to provide services to the community such as water, waste collection, road maintenance, parks and community facilities. To find out what your rates pay for, click here

Your total rates amount is made up of charges for water, sewerage, waste and a State Government Emergency Management Levy. It also includes a general rates amount. This year, Western Downs general rates have increased by 4.5% in 2021/22, but the charge for some properties may be higher or even lower. This is because the minimum rate level in some categories has changed following Council's review to ensure a system that is as fair as possible for all ratepayers, and more adequately reflect the cost of delivering services.

You can read more about Council's plan for the year ahead below. If you have any specific questions, contact Council on 1300 COUNCIL (268 624).

 

 

This year will see a range of exciting projects come to fruition, which will advance the Western Downs as a prime place to live, work and visit.

Works will progress on major projects such as the revitalisation of MyALL 107, new public space at 120 Cunningham Street in Dalby, the revitalisation of the Miles CBD Streetscape, and brand new mountain bike trails at the Bunya Mountains. We’ve completed revitalisations of prominent camping and outdoor spots including Caliguel Lagoon at Condamine, Chinchilla Weir, and Lake Broadwater, and this year we will finish similar projects at Tara Lagoon Parklands and Waterloo Plain Environmental Park at Wandoan.

Many of our regional parks, community halls, showgrounds and cemeteries will also be improved to enhance the liveability of the region and promote a sustainable future for the Western Downs.

Western Downs Regional Council is driving long-term growth and sustainability, with this year’s budget focused on building a stronger future for the region through investment in quality infrastructure and enhanced liveability.

Discover more about the 2021/22 Budget, including project updates and a rates review summary:

         HIGHLIGHTS             |             MAYORAL STATEMENT             |             RATES SUMMARY            |            BUDGET DOCUMENTS

Highlights

A comprehensive program of upgrade projects to ensure our recreational spaces and community facilities are attractive, safe and accessible. This includes major projects such as the redevelopment of MyALL 107 Cultural Precinct and replacement of the Tara Pool, through to regional community halls, showgrounds, and aquatic centre improvements.

The continued rollout of record investment in in our parks and open spaces to ensure they are alive with activity, while taking pride in our natural assets, environment and heritage. This includes major upgrades such as the Miles CBD Streetscape revitalisation, regional suburban park upgrades, cemetery improvements, and the popular Adopt A Street Tree program.

A comprehensive program to deliver modern, quality essential services to the region. Includes the beginning of a five-year strategy to meet demand and cater to growth at  Dalby,  as well as various upgrades to improve water infrastructure across the region.

A massive spend on road infrastructure to boost safety and connectivity across the Western Downs. Projects include road upgrades, bridge upgrades, gravel re-sheeting, dust  suppression, and new and improved footpaths.

Includes a 4.5% general rates increase on average. Council is focused on securing a sustainable future for the region while delivering a high standard of service delivery. WDRC’s rates remain among the lowest in Queensland when compared with other town areas of a similar size.

A strong incentive to promote water conservation and community resilience. Generous rebates provided to eligible households who install a water tank on their property.

The continued delivery of several major projects to drive economic growth, create local jobs, and improve the liveability of the region. Some projects include the Russell Park Mountain Bike Trails at the Bunya Mountains, a new public space at 120 Cunningham Street in Dalby, and the revitalisation of popular camping spots across the region such as Tara Lagoon Parklands and Wandoan Waterloo Plain Environmental Park.

Financial Support for several major events across the region. These premier festivals and events are about the people that make it, and are a huge boost to our local economy. Council is also delivering a grants program to support new ideas for events in the region.

A series of exciting and inclusive activities to unite our community. Includes the delivery of community grants programs, outdoor movie nights, FlickerFest Short Film Festival,
and the popular Groovin’ in the Garden live music event.

Media Releases

Council budget delivers growth and sustainability  

Western Downs Regional Council is driving long-term growth and sustainability, with this year's budget focused on building a stronger future for the region through investment in quality infrastructure and enhanced liveability.  

Following on from a huge year of investment as part of Council's COVID-19 Recovery Package, the 21/22 Budget paves the way for a sustainable future for the region, delivering a range of new projects to drive sustainable growth while ensuring residents have access to quality essential services.   

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said Council was focused on promoting the Western Downs as an attractive place to live and work.  

"We have a diverse economy here in the Western Downs and Council's 21/22 budget is about supporting this economy and setting the foundations for a prosperous future for the region," Cr McVeigh said.   

"We are a Council at the forefront of the changing world, and this future-focused attitude has allowed us to go above and beyond for the community, delivering a huge stimulus package, generating jobs, and keeping our rates substantially lower than other regions of the same size.   

"With a general rate increase of 4.5%, our rates will remain among the lowest in Queensland.   

"Our responsible financial management has allowed us to remain debt-free and keep rates low, that's despite forecasting a reduction of around $1 million dollars in rates revenue this year due to a decline in the resource industry, and despite rural land valuations increasing by anywhere between 25 and 40% in the same year.  

“This year we’re continuing to offer our popular rainwater tank subsidy, which has been hugely successful in bolstering our water capacity and community resilience.   

“Since its introduction last year, we have seen a whopping 3.2 million litres of water capacity added to our local households and properties, and we are delighted to continue the program this financial year.  

“This year will also see the beginning of a five-year strategy to improve infrastructure and bolster water supply in Dalby as part of a long-term strategy to increase water security and cater to growing demand.”  

Cr McVeigh said Council was delivering a $70 million capital works program which would ensure residents have access to modern infrastructure and quality services, while delivering initiatives to drive targeted growth.   

"We continue to invest heavily into our road network to support industry and ensure our towns are well-connected, with a massive $45.5 million invested into roads, bridges and footpaths in 21/22,” he said.   

"We’re also delivering a record $19.8 million to enhance our parks, open spaces and cemeteries this year, which will see a range of improvement to regional parks.  

“The Tara Lagoon Parklands and Wandoan’s Waterloo Plain Park will be added to the list of recreational spaces we have fast-tracked and upgraded, with funding to complete these projects this year.  

"Adopt a Street Tree will also continue, with nearly $400,000 committed to this extremely popular program."  

Other highlights include the continued delivery of a $24.2 million investment into community facilities, with funding to progress the redevelopment of MyALL 107 and 120 Cunningham Street at Dalby, a $6 million revitalisation of the Tara Pool, as well as various improvements to regional showgrounds, pools, community halls, and aerodromes.”  

Cr McVeigh said Council was also investing in the people that make the region so wonderful, with funding allocated to support several premier events organised by community groups in the region.   

“We have so many fantastic events and festivals in the region, and Council is proud to support the work of our dedicated committees including Dalby Delicious and DeLIGHTful Festival, Chinchilla Melon Festival, Jandowae Timbertown Festival, Miles Back to the Bush Festival, and Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races.   

“We're also extremely excited to bring Big Skies Festival back to the region in 2022, after a two-year break due to the pandemic.   

“These events put our region on the map and create a huge boost for our local economy, and it will be wonderful to see them return this financial year.”   

Budget highlights by region  

Chinchilla and District 

  • Boyd Street sewerage pump station upgrade - $1.3 million  
  • Baskervilles Road reconstruction - $638,400  
  • Chinchilla Botanic Parkland improvements (picnic shelters, shade, signage) - $178,359  
  • Kogan Hall upgrades - $85,000  
  • Tanderra Cemetery Improvements (fence replacement, irrigation, landscaping) - $81,318  

Dalby and District 

  • Dalby Water Strategy evaporative pond capacity increase - $2.2 million  
  • 120 Cunningham Street major project - $1.72 million   
  • Wilds Road upgrade - $894,100  
  • Myall Creek Parklands improvements (shade, footpath extensions, picnic shelters) - $520,086 
  • Richard Best Park, Warra improvements - $82,547  

    Miles and District 

    • Miles CBD Streetscape revitalisation - $6.4 million (co-funded with Federal Government) 
    • Bundi Road bridge upgrade - $3.63 million 
    • Dulacca Waste and Recycle Centre - $300,000 
    • Miles Aquatic Centre amenities upgrade - $196,046
    • Dogwood Creek masterplan - $20,000  

      Tara and District 

      • Tara Pool Replacement Project - $6 million  
      • Tara Lagoon Parklands revitalisation - $2.88 million   
      • Glenern Road widening and reconstruction - $848,000 
      • Ducklo Waste and Recycle Centre - $300,000 
      • Meandarra School of Arts Hall and Glenmorgan RSL Hall roof replacements - $179,056 

        Wandoan and District 

        • Waterloo Plain Environmental Park revitalisation (final stage) - $450,000 
        • Bundi Road upgrade - $1.32 million 
        • Booral Road reconstruction - $913,920 
        • Big Valley Road floodway upgrade - $76,000
        • Hoffman Street, North Street, Henderson Road footpath improvements - $110,640  

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        Council drives a more sustainable future for the Western Downs

        Western Downs Regional Council is investing in the continued economic and environmental sustainability of the region, offering targeted incentives and improved services as part of Council’s 21/22 Budget.  

        Council Spokesperson for Planning, Environment and Agribusiness, Councillor Andrew Smith, said Council was at the forefront of attracting new and innovative industries to grow our diverse region.

        "Council aggressively attracts business and investment opportunities to ensure our region prospers now, and well into the future," Cr Smith said.

        "Last year we introduced our infrastructure charges Incentive Scheme, which waived Infrastructure Charges on targeted industries to drive growth and diversify the economy, and this waiver remains in place this financial year.

        "Over the coming year, infrastructure charges will be waived for eligible approvals across several industries including aged and health care, tourism, intensive agriculture, and commercial (business).”

        Cr Smith said Council also continued to invest in the environmental sustainability of the region, with funding to ensure residents had access to modern infrastructure and reliable essential services.

        "It's important we continue to ensure our residents have access to quality essential services, which is why Council is constructing new waste and recycling centres at Ducklo and Dulacca,” he said.

        “This is part of a rolling program to convert smaller landfill sites into transfer stations which will provide better value for money for Council, and ultimately create a cleaner, greener future for our towns.

        “We have also invested $54,500 to improve the internal roads at the Chinchilla Waste and Recycling Centre, as well as upgrading the lighting in the ‘push pit’ building.

        “We’re also improving access to the Meandarra Waste Transfer Station, with a $61,500 project to undertake dust suppression works in the area.”

        Cr Smith said Council also continued to empower residents to think sustainably, particularly when it comes to their household pets.

        “Our dog registration fees continue to offer a great cost incentive for families with desexed dogs, and Council is making it even easier for people to pay their dog registrations, with the fees now able to be paid online via Council’s E-Services platform,” he said.

        “Council proactively promotes responsible pet ownership, and desexing your dog is one of the best ways to improve your dog's temperament.

        “Providing a platform people to pay their animal registrations online is a relatively simple way to improve convenience for residents and make our region a safer, more environmentally-friendly place.”

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit  www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        Council bolsters tourism offerings in the Western Downs

        Western Downs Regional Council is building the region's reputation as a dynamic tourist destination, with several projects and events being delivered in 2021/22 to celebrate the region's unique experiences and natural beauty.  

        The Western Downs has seen a significant increase in tourist numbers across the past 12 months, which has fantastic flow-on effects for local businesses.

        Council Spokesperson for Tourism, Events and Regional Promotion, Councillor Kylie Bourne, said Council was focused on advancing the region as a tourist destination and offering more lifestyle opportunities for residents.

        "We’ve seen a continued increase in visitor numbers to our region, with more and more people discovering how wonderful the Western Downs is, and we're keen to build on this interest and stimulate a more diverse economy.

        "The Western Downs is a prime location for premier destination events, and we're excited to announce funding has also been allocated to deliver another drone forum in the region.

        "This innovative event is perfect for our region, and Council is eager to work with the organisers to deliver another stellar event this financial year.

        "This year we'll also complete upgrades at several popular camping spots across the region, which will further enhance opportunities for 'drive tourism' throughout the year.

        "At the Miles Historical Village Museum alone, there was a 90% increase in visitors in the first part of the year compared with 2020, which is a massive increase. It’s great to see Council completing fantastic projects to support this demand including a revitalisation of the Miles streetscape and an upgraded entrance for the Miles Visitor Information Centre and Historical Village Museum.

        “We’re also excited to welcome the Queensland Visitor Information Centres Conference to Miles in October 2021, which is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our region and the people that make it to representatives 75 Visitor Information Centres across the state.

        “Council has also allocated $1.72 million to progress a fabulous project to activate Dalby’s town centre during the day and night, with works to deliver a new public space at 120 Cunningham Street continuing.

        “We’re also continuing with our exciting project to construct a series of mountain bike trails at Russell Park at the Bunya Mountains to maximise visitor experiences at this beautiful location.”

        Cr Bourne said Council recognised the region's diverse tourist experiences were about the people that make them possible, which is why it continues to empower and support festival committees to deliver their events.

        "We have so many amazing destination events which would not be possible without the dedicated work of local committees and we're delighted to continue supporting their hard work in attracting more people to our great region.

        "This year funding support is allocated to several destination events including Chinchilla Melon Festival, Dalby Delicious and DeLIGHTful, Jandowae Timbertown Festival, Miles Back to the Bush Festival, Opera at Jimbour, and Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races.

        "It’s really exciting to announce Big Skies Festival will go ahead in 2022, after a two-year break due to the pandemic.

        “We’re also delighted to continue our destination events grants program, which supports the introduction of new events for the region.”

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        New initiatives to drive a connected and united community

        The Western Downs will come alive with social and cultural activities to promote a more connected region as part of a $3 million investment into community programs in 2021/22.

        Council will deliver several vibrant events, programs and community activities to boost the region’s liveability and bring people together, with some of the exciting initiatives including a comedy roadshow and outdoor movie nights.

        Council Spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development Councillor Kaye Maguire said Council was proud of its cultural offerings which support an active, vibrant community

        “The Western Downs is alive with a range of fun and engaging opportunities for all members of the family,” Cr Maguire said.

        “As part of this year’s budget, Council will be delivering a comedy roadshow which will visit our regional areas and promote the importance of coming together as a community and having a good time.

        “The acclaimed FlickerFest Short Film Festival will also return to the region, offering an opportunity for our community to experience the very best in Australian short film.

        “Council will also deliver a series of outdoor family movie nights to satisfy the film buffs in every household, and host another ‘Groovin’ in the Garden’ live music event following its resounding success in February this year.

        “We’re also continuing to celebrate our region’s wonderful creative talents, with the second round of our “10 Artists Project” to take place over the coming year, which is about sharing the personal stories of our fantastic local artists.

        “Our comprehensive community grants program will continue this financial year, offering financial assistance to support the great work our community groups and sporting clubs are doing.

        “Our grants cover several programs including the Individual Excellence Program, Local Events Program, Destination Events Program, Regional Art Development Fund, Reimbursement Program, In-Kind Assistance, Community Activation Program, and Community Projects Program.”

        Cr Maguire said Western Downs Libraries would continue to draw the community together with an abundance of Library programs and workshops delivered in 21/22.

        “Our Libraries are no longer simply a place to borrow books; they’re vibrant community hubs which are buzzing with activity throughout the year,” she said.

        “Western Downs Libraries offer a variety of programs ranging from arts and crafts, STEM, 3D printing, book clubs, business support, and of course the popular storytime sessions for multiple age groups.

        “Western Downs Libraries is the only Queensland Library service hosting an annual Readers and Writers Festival, and it is so exciting to see the popular Words Out West: Western Downs Readers and Writers Festival returning in 2022."

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget, visit  www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        Budget drives regional connectivity across the Western Downs

        Building safer roads that enhance connectivity and support our growing economy is a key priority for the 2021/22 Western Downs Regional Council budget, with a massive $45.5 million invested into roads, bridges and footpaths this coming financial year.  

        This investment, which equates to more than half of the entire capital budget, will deliver a range of transport related projects including road upgrades, bitumen dust suppressions, gravel re-sheeting program, bitumen reseal program, bridge upgrade, new footpaths and new stormwater infrastructure.

        Council Spokesperson for Works and Technical Services Councillor George Moore said Council was investing in safe, well-maintained road networks to connect the region and support economic activities.

        “Our region is home to the second largest road network in the country stretching across 7,500kms, so it’s important we continue to invest in projects to ensure our roads are safe and maintained correctly,” Cr Moore said.

        “Our region has a diverse and thriving economy which relies on a strong road network to keep business moving.

        “As the Western Downs becomes an even more attractive place to live, work and visit, it’s vital we continue to deliver projects to enhance our connectivity to support existing industries, as well as growing sectors like drive tourism.

        “Some of the highlights include an upgrade to widen a 6km stretch of Glenern Road near Glenmorgan, a 4km upgrade of Wilds Road near Dalby from gravel to bitumen which will complete a fully bitumen-sealed route linking Dalby-Cecil Plains Road to the Moonie Highway, as well as upgrading numerous roads in the townships of Condamine, Meandarra, Tara and Jandowae from gravel to bitumen sealed.

        “We’re also reconstructing sections of Booral Road near Wandoan, and Nandi Road at Dalby, as well as continuing our massive bitumen reseal program and gravel re-sheeting program, which is all in addition to our regular maintenance program across the network.”

        In the year ahead, new stormwater infrastructure will be installed in Alice and Mary Streets, Dalby as part of a multi-year project to improve stormwater drainage in this area.

        Western Downs Regional Council was also successful in obtaining funding under the Federal Government’s Bridge Renewal Program, which will support upgrades to the Bridge crossing over Wandoan Creek on Bundi Road.

        This will entail upgrading the existing timber single lane timber bridge to a two-lane bridge offering improved access, safety and immunity for the community to access Wandoan.”

        Cr Moore said Council also continued to build connectivity across local towns by investing in new footpath linkages.

        "Half a million dollars is also being invested in building new and upgraded footpaths which really connect towns and entice more people to head outdoors and be active in the community,” Cr Moore said.

        "Last year we saw the equivalent of five years of funding for footpaths delivered in one year as part of our COVID-19 Recovery Package which provided work to around 180 local people, which was a fantastic result,” Cr Moore said.

        “We are excited to keep the momentum rolling this coming financial year, with footpaths to be constructed at several locations in Chinchilla, Dalby, Miles and Wandoan, which equates to an additional 1.6 kilometres of footpath for the region.”

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        $24.2 million package bolsters vital community facilities

        Western Downs Regional Council is building on the region's fantastic liveability, with the continued rollout of a massive $24.2 million package to improve the community's much-loved facilities and stimulate the economy.  

        Council's 2021/22 budget includes a comprehensive program of upgrades and enhancements across regional halls, swimming pools, libraries, cultural centres, aerodromes, and showgrounds.

        Council Spokesperson for Strategic Communications and Council Facilities Councillor Megan James said it was fantastic to deliver a $24 million program off the back of a huge investment under Council's Accelerated Major Projects program last year.

        "We're focused on ensuring our region is an attractive place to live, work, prosper and play and it's great to see the continued momentum of delivery this coming financial year," Cr James said.

        "Our community facilities provide a meeting place for our residents to come together and be a part of a range of vibrant activities and events, and it's important Council ensures they're attractive, safe and accessible for everyone.

        "As part of this investment, we're completing some improvements at Kogan Hall, as well as replacing the roofing at Glenmorgan RSL Hall, and Meandarra School of Arts.

        "Our showgrounds will also receive some important improvements including an upgrade to the septic system at Jandowae showgrounds and a replacement of the water lines at Wandoan showgrounds.

        "We will also be delivering a region-wide engineering review of all our aquatic centres to ensure they are safe and accessible for our residents, and we will be upgrading amenities at the Miles Aquatic Centre.

        "These upgrades have the added benefit of generating jobs for local contractors, which is a core part of Council's commitment to buying local and supporting businesses."

        Cr James said the program also included major redevelopments for key facilities in the region which were fast-tracked under Council’s COVID-19 Recovery Package.

        "We’ve got so many fantastic projects taking shape across our great region, and this year we will see a many of these planned revitalisations come to fruition,” she said.

        "Some of these include the revitalisation of the MyALL 107 cultural centre in Dalby, which will create another landmark precinct to benefit the whole region, and a massive $6 million redevelopment of the Tara Pool.

        "This continued investment in our public facilities will not only meet current demand, but will support our growing, diverse economy well into the future."

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        Council budget to deliver certainty and growth

        Council’s 21/22 budget is delivering stronger, more sustainable outcomes for the Western Downs, with initiatives to drive growth while keeping rates comparatively low, despite a $1 million loss in rates revenue.  

        Council Spokesperson for Finance, Corporate Services and Business Strategy Councillor Ian Rasmussen said Council continued to focus on proactive, sustainable planning for the future.

        "We are recognised as a financially intelligent and responsible Council, and we are proud of our ability to go to great lengths for the community and shape a stronger future for our growing economy," Cr Rasmussen said.

        "Our stringent financial planning has allowed us to remain debt-free and implement once-in-a-generation initiatives like our massive COVID-19 Recovery Package which supported the region through the height of the pandemic and continues to deliver real results for our community.

        "The waive on infrastructure charges for targeted development approvals continues this year, which is about accelerating development, creating more jobs, and ultimately increasing our population."

        "Everything we do is focused on delivering stronger, more sustainable outcomes for the Western Downs, while also ensuring we continue to deliver good value for money and align our capacity with service delivery."

        Cr Rasmussen said Council was able to ensure the Western Downs remained an affordable place to live, with average general rates only increasing by 4.5% despite huge rises in land valuations dictated by the State Government.

        "Despite rural land valuations going up anywhere between 25% and 40% in our region, Council has been able to keep the average general rates increase at 4.5%, which is a result of our ongoing responsible financial management," he said.

        "Our towns continue to benefit from some of the lowest rates in the state compared with other towns of the same size, and we're proud to be able to keep rates low, while having the capacity to grow our region and deliver fantastic projects for the community.

        "Council has also undertaken a review of its rating structure to deliver a clearer and more transparent rating model, with our total rating categories reduced by ninety-nine (99).

        "This was about consolidating rates categories to create a more accurate representation of our community and ultimately make the rating system clearer and fairer.

        “We have also included new categories such as battery storage and poultry to capture future economic opportunities for the region.

        "We are also continuing to match the State's Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme, offering qualifying pensioners a 20% rebate on rates and charges, excluding water consumption charges, up to a maximum of $200 per year."

        Cr Rasmussen said Council continued to invest in Australia's largest same-day prime and store saleyards, with a range of improvements to be completed this financial year.

        "With around 200,000 cattle sold at the Dalby Saleyards annually, it's important we ensure the facility is modern, safe, and attractive, which is why we are investing more than $258,900 to upgrade various facilities on site," he said.

        "Council is also contributing more than $83,560 to support the Combined Saleyards Association's request for an upgraded hydraulic crush to make large cattle runs safer and more efficient."

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        Media Contact:

        Western Downs Regional Council Media Office | 07 4679 4265

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        Council steps up to boost water security and community resilience

        Bolstering the region's water supply and promoting community resilience is a key focus of the 2021-22 Western Downs Regional Council budget. 

        Council's investment includes a continuation of the hugely popular Rainwater Tank Subsidy Scheme, which has seen an additional 3.2 million litres of water capacity added to local households and properties.

        Council Spokesperson for Utilities, Councillor Peter Saxelby, said the water tank subsidy scheme was delivering real outcomes for Western Downs residents.

        "The Rainwater Tank Subsidy Scheme offers generous incentives to people who install a tank on their property as part of a strategy to ease pressures on water storage and promote drought resilience," Cr Saxelby said.

        "Since the scheme was introduced 12 months ago, Council has approved a massive 160 tanks for residents, which has been a fantastic outcome for water conservation as well as local businesses through tank manufacturers," Cr Saxelby said.

        "This program has had an enormous uptake, so Council is continuing the program this financial year."

        Cr Saxelby said Council was playing its part to help assure long-term water security for the region.

        "Ensuring our community continues to have safe, reliable access to water is a huge priority for Council, and we continue to advocate for long term domestic and industrial water supply for the region," Cr Saxelby said.

        "Council is playing its part in ensuring we're meeting the demand of our growing economy, and this year we are kicking off a five-year strategy to bolster the Dalby town water supply.

        "As part of this, $2.2 million has been allocated to increase the capacity of our evaporative ponds which is an integral part of the water treatment process in Dalby.

        "We're also continuing to ensure our residents are provided with modern infrastructure and quality essential services across the region, with $1.2 million invested into this year's water mains replacement program, $2.8 million to improve sewer infrastructure, and $915,000 to enhance regional water treatment infrastructure.

        "We're also delivering an innovative project to improve community resilience during disasters by installing video monitoring capabilities at the Jandowae Dam.

        "This will provide for more reliable monitoring of the spillway which can be accessed remotely."

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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        Record spend on Western Downs Parks and Open Spaces

        Western Downs Regional Council is boosting the region's liveability and enhancing our fantastic natural assets as part of a record $19.8 million investment rolling out across the region’s recreational spaces and cemeteries.

        This massive investment includes the continuation of Council's landscape project upgrades at prominent natural spaces across the region, as well as a variety of suburban park upgrades and cemetery improvements.

        Council Spokesperson for Recreational Spaces and Cemeteries Councillor Carolyn Tillman said the region's parks and open spaces were huge recreational drawcards that celebrated the natural beauty of the region.

        "We take pride in our natural assets, environment and heritage and this investment is about making our open spaces special and inviting for local residents and tourists visiting the region," Cr Tillman said.

        "We are delivering fantastic upgrades at several recreational spaces across the region which were all fast-tracked under Council's COVID-19 Recovery Package.

        "This year we see revitalisations at Chinchilla Weir, Lake Broadwater, and Caliguel Lagoon at Condamine come to fruition, with more work scheduled to complete similar projects at Waterloo Plain Environmental Park at Wandoan, and Tara Lagoon Parklands.

        "These upgrades are about enhancing spaces that are already popular spots to visit, go camping, and enjoy the outdoors, and will go a long way in enticing visitors to stay longer in our towns.

        "We're also delivering a revitalisation of the Miles CBD Streetscape which includes a fabulous upgrade of Anzac Park as well as an extensive beautification of the main street."

        Cr Tillman said it was fantastic to see so many families enjoying the region's parks, which demonstrated the need to invest in quality facilities to meet demand and allow for more people to head outdoors.

        "We're delivering improvements to our major parks including new picnic shelters, shading and signage at the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland and new shading, bollards, picnic shelters, and footpaths around Myall Creek in Dalby," she said.

        "We're also delivering a range of upgrades to other much-loved parks such as Richard Best Park at Warra, Jimbour Park, Ensor Park at Bell, Grevillia Park in Tara, Westmar playground, Brigalow playground, and parks in Meandarra.

        "We continue to focus on enhancing our cemeteries to ensure they remain special resting places and as part of this, we will be replacing the frontage fence and extending irrigation and landscaping at Tanderra Cemetery in Chinchilla, improving the irrigation at Myall Remembrance Park in Dalby, and delivering a seating package to install additional seating at all our cemeteries.

        "Our much-loved Adopt a Street Tree Program will also continue in 2021/22, with $400,000 committed to enhancing our natural environment and boosting community pride across the region.

        "Since 2017 we have seen a whopping 5,753 trees planted as part of the program, and we a proud to continue investing in this extremely popular initiative. A total of 1,083 trees were planted in the last financial year alone.

        "Our adopted trees are very well cared for by residents and I have no doubt future generations will thank our community for its foresight to plant new trees and enhance the beauty of our region."

        To find out more about the 2021-22 Council Budget visit  www.wdrc.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-documents/budget22

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