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  • Council's balancing act paying off with low rates for Cairns residents


    Not only is Cairns the state's best regional city to live in, we're also the cheapest when it comes to council rates and utility charges.

    The Bob Manning-led council has seemingly achieved the right balance between infrastructure spending, service delivery and controlled spending with a new benchmarking report showing top marks for low rates and charges within the Cairns Regional Council footprint.

    A benchmarking report comparing Queensland councils servicing a population of more than 100,000 people found Cairns Regional Council has the lowest minimum and median residential combined rates and utility charges.

    The benchmarking process looked at 11 other councils across the state and compared all property-related charges on an annual basis and the average water usage for a Cairns ratepayer.

    “We have made a concerted effort to limit the impact of rate rises on the cost of living by keeping those increases as low as possible,” Mayor Bob Manning said.

    “We are continually looking for ways to do more with less, so we can meet the community’s expectations around service delivery without having to subject ratepayers to higher rates and charges.”

    The benchmarking process included four categories:

    • Residential property (excluding strata and flats) paying the minimum rate – this represents 20% of residential properties in the Cairns Regional Council area;
    • Residential property (excluding strata and flats) with a valuation of $177,500, which is the median valuation for the Cairns Regional Council area;
    • Residential property (excluding strata and flats) with the relevant median valuation within its own local government area; and
    • Strata title property paying the minimum rate – this represents 89% of strata title properties in the Cairns Regional Council area.

    Cr Manning said Cairns had the lowest combined rates and charges in three of those four categories.

    “In the fourth ($177,500 valuation), Cairns is second only to Brisbane – which, of course, has a much higher median value than Cairns.

    “Given the size of our region and what we deliver, our charges are extremely competitive.”