'Not to average Australian standard': Mayor's plea for funds
MAYOR Rachel Chambers has revealed there is a $3.4million funding shortfall in the maintenance of North Burnett's road network and an additional $5.2million needs to be spent on 15 bridges that have fallen into disrepair.
In advance of the upcoming Federal Election, council has written an "advocacy pitch” in which they plead for a commitment to restore Federal Assistance Grants, one of council's main forms of income, to 1 per cent of taxation income.
In the past decade it has shrunk to 0.57 per cent.
The purpose of the grant is to ensure "each local governing body in the State... is able to function, by reasonable effort, at a standard not lower than the average standard of other local governing bodies in the State.”
Cr Chambers said it was obvious some of North Burnett's infrastructure does not reach this standard.
"There are some community assets that we know are not to the average Australian standard due to a lack of funding,” she said.
"If you take (council's) sport and recreation plan as an example, you will see that we've had to remove playground and sporting equipment as it didn't meet current Australian standards.”
Meanwhile, the $3.4million hole in council's road maintenance budget means "we are not achieving the intervention levels which we have set down to maintain the network in good working condition,” Cr Chambers said.
This is aside from the 15 bridges which require replacement or repair as determined by a council audit.
Cr Chambers says these bridges are, however, still safe to use.
North Burnett Regional Council's FAG totalled $11,298,182 in 2018-19.
However, this was down from $11,453,059 the previous financial year.
Cr Chambers said that State and Federal grants totalled around 57 per cent of council's annual budget.
Burnett's busted bridges:
Pump House Bridge
Jack Parr Bridge
GS Galloways Bridge
Wetheron Creek Bridge
Nogo River Bridge
Elliots Creek Bridge
Aranbanga Creek Bridge, Hivesville
Bon Accord Bridge
Wuruma Dam Bridge
Ross Crossing Bridge