Noosa survives 'divorce' without a rates rise
NOOSA CEO Brett de Chastel has revealed how his council was able to double its investment in capital projects, pay off de-amalgamation and cap any rates increase.
It wasn't rocket science and didn't involve smokescreens and transferring figures from one department to another.
And Mr de Chastel is confident Noosa will also have an "unqualified audit" from the Queensland Audit Office when the books are examined.
The simple technique which has reaped benefits for Noosa residents was searching for ways to cut costs.
This has included shopping on eBay instead of furniture catalogues and cutting on company cars.
"We cut all unnecessary expenses," Mr de Chastel said.
"For example, we had an excess of 30 motor vehicles which has resulted in a saving of $450,000 each year.
"We are the only council we know of in Queensland where neither the CEO nor the mayor has a company car.
"We also went through and looked at every phone account we had.
"We identified we inherited telephone accounts unconnected costing us $15,000 a month. This will save us $180,000 a year.
"We also looked at ways to save on electricity.
"Early this month we needed to buy office furniture. It would have cost $1000 but one of our staff went on eBay and found it for $80."
The only increase ratepayers will have in the 2014-15 is the $18 fee per property per year for the kerbside garbage bin collection, which is a 7.3% increase in general waste charges.
At the same time the council has increased its capital works budget to $22.677 million.
"In the first six months of this year, the capital works program we inherited from the Sunshine Coast Council was $5.704 million, over a year this would have been $11.4 million," Mr de Chastel said.
Noosa Council also had to pay for the cost of de-amalgamation in this budget. The amount of de-amalgamation costs approved by the transfer committee is $2.57 million.
Mr de Chastel said Noosa Mayor Noel Playford had made it clear he wanted no increase in the budget, and he was pleased to be able to achieve it.
The councils' general rates across south-east Queensland:
0% rates on hold
NOTE: Toowoomba council budget due out today