Council's big budget plans for next year
ASTUTE management of the coffers this year means council will have $450 million to spend on the city's growth and development next financial year.
On the cards are big ticket development projects, such as the CBD, and maintenance of the $2.8 billion worth of existing council assets.
The city's general manager of corporate services, Andrew Knight, has oversight on the coffers and sought to clear up council's responsibilities about the budget and when it came to yearly spending.
Mr Knight said the next budget would focus on new projects as well as providing continuing obligations such as parks, bikeways, libraries and administering the planning scheme.
"The city is in a sound financial position to allow for continued delivery of community programs and high quality services for Ipswich and its residents," he said.
"The city has $2.8 billion of assets to manage. These assets, apart from some exceptions, do not earn or support income as they would do for a private sector business.
"Importantly, current ratepayers generally do not pay for new roads and parks in newer suburbs such as those being developed in the Ripley Valley and Springfield regions of Ipswich.
"The private developers of these estates must pay their own way and build new infrastructure before land is sold for residential or commercial use.
"In general, new streets, kerb and channelling, parks, and drainage are not funded by Ipswich City Council in these new suburbs, however once established these assets are maintained by council."
Mr Knight's strong credentials in economics and accounting helped him secure the role of the city's corporate services chief four months ago.
He came to Ipswich from Mackay Regional Council where he was director of organisational services.
"Ensuring Ipswich City Council's financial sustainability into the future is a key focus. Despite some recent setbacks, our solid numbers and consistent growth are the envy of many other councils in Queensland," Mr Knight said.
"The annual set of accounts is audited by the Queensland Audit Office and the current budget of $515 million is the second biggest in the city's history.
"As we look to the finish line for handing down the 2019-2020 budget we expect total budget to be in excess of $450 million."
Mr Knight said council revenue came from more than one source.
"The popular misconception is that rates pay for everything," he said.
"Whilst the majority of revenue comes from rates, there are generally six main revenue streams for a council.
"These include rates and charges, fees, permits and regulations, grants and subsidies, loans, and developer contributions and charges levied by council on land being developed.
"In Ipswich rates and charges account for approximately 68 per cent of all operating revenue.
"Last year that was the equivalent of $189 million from a total operating revenue budget of $279 million."