Security ready to fly
THE Murweh Shire Council hands down its 2018-19 budget today, with the Morven Freight Hub and Charleville Airport security the big-ticket items in the $29million document.
Mayor Annie Liston said despite the current difficult time between drought and economic downturn, this year's budget was slightly up from last year's amended budget of $25million.
"There are some great projects in the wings and if there was more money available we would be able to deliver more to the Murweh Shire,” Cr Liston said.
Murweh Shire Council announced $4.1million will be allocated to the Morven Freight Hub and a further $1.8million will go into upgrades for the Charleville Airport, including security.
Murweh Shire CEO Neil Polglase said the Freight Hub would be a big benefit for the shire.
"The hub will be completed this financial year and we are currently waiting for designs to be finalised. The council is keen to commence construction by late October or early November this year.
"It is a development the council will utilise as an economic drive for the region and hopefully it will draw more families to Morven and will help their economy,” Mr Polglase said.
Despite the economic benefits set for the shire, CrListon said the budget had been difficult.
"The extent of changes in property valuations due to a recent revaluation and the need to weigh up the different service potential between our rural and urban rate base has been difficult.”
As a result, rates have increased by 2per cent for general rates and water in all three townships and additionally in sewerage for Augathella and Charleville.
"Urban and rural rates have been adjusted to reflect the change in valuations as a consequence due to the revaluation,” Cr Liston said.
Mr Polglase said there was also an increase in garbage services.
"The garbage service has increased larger than 2per cent to cover the cost of this service and as an offset to the pensioners in those towns we have increased the pensioner subsidy from $340 to $360 to accommodate the increase in services.”