Towns and villages across the Southern Downs are another big winner in Southern Downs Regional Council’s (SDRC) 2019-2020 Annual Budget which is set to deliver a huge line-up of key community projects.

Investment in parks and recreational facilities and more grants for community groups are key highlights of Southern Downs Regional Council’s $83 million expenditure budget. SDRC will deliver $2.87 million of Works for Queensland (W4Q) projects to the community, including spending $300,000 on a lookout at Daggs Falls, Killarney, a new $300,000 mini-golf facility for Warwick and $200,000 for the design and development of a new regional art gallery for Stanthorpe. A new $310,000 flight training hanger at the Warwick Aerodrome and $295,000 in Maryvale and Leyburn Urban Design Framework outcomes will also be delivered by W4Q funding.

Community groups across the region will be given a boost with Council dedicating more than $348,000 to its Grants to Community program, a $134,000 increase from last financial year. Councillor for Communities, Towns and Villages, Sheryl Windle said the region’s communities are big budget winners with new projects providing opportunity for growth and development. “We’re committed to continually developing and enhancing our communities with projects that make our region one of the very best in Queensland to live, work and play.”

Cr Windle said Council is in a strong financial position which helps to support a range of community programs including its Community Grants Program. “Dedicating funds to the Community Grants Program as well as supporting our region’s vibrant events arts and events scene are just two of the many positive initiatives this Budget will deliver to our towns and villages,” Cr Windle said.

The Budget forecasts a moderate operating surplus of $95,000 as well as a further reduction of Council’s debt by $1.3 million. The 7.5 per cent discount for early payment of general rates will remain, as well as the subsidy on the general rates for pensioners. Council is also extending its payment terms from 30 to 60 days over the 2019-2020 Financial Year to ease the burden on households feeling the impacts of drought.

“There is no doubt our region is feeling the effects of what is now a prolonged and severe drought, but reducing debt and Council’s strong financial management in the last three years means that we are able to deliver projects which will directly benefit our communities,” Cr Windle said. “The region as a whole will benefit from a huge amount of grants and government funding that this Council has successfully secured to deliver significant projects.”

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