$847m Sunshine Coast Budget: what’s happening with rates and where will money be invested?

Sunshine Coast Council has handed down an $847 million 2022-23 Budget, and here’s what you can expect.

A whopping $273 million will be invested in job-creating local infrastructure projects that Mayor Mark Jamieson said would provide economic opportunities for local businesses and improved access to services and facilities for our communities.

Considerable funds will be invested in upgrading roads, improving stormwater assets, revitalising parks, boosting recycling, promoting the benefits of public transport, environmental programs, community events and foreshore and bushland conservation.

Mayor Jamieson said the Council understood property owners were concerned about the impacts on their rates as a result of the State Government’s recent increases in property valuations.

“While Council is required, by law, to use the valuation figures to calculate the general rate, we have made adjustments to our rating categories to mitigate the full impact,” he said.

“We know that the State Government valuation increases have ranged from 9.5 to 80.7 per cent. However, with what Council has done in this budget, the rate increase will generally not be anywhere near those percentages.

“The majority of the principal place of residence properties – around 60 per cent of all residential properties – will see a 5 per cent, or $63.50, increase in their general rate.

“Anyone experiencing financial hardship can contact Council before their rates are due and arrange a payment-by-instalments agreement over a six-month period, without interest being charged.”

In other decisions: the 240-litre wheelie bin and recycling fee will rise $15.90, from $316.80 to $332.70; the Environment Levy will be unchanged at $80; the Transport Levy has been raised by $1 to $45; and the Arts and Heritage Levy increased by $3 annually to $16.

The overall impact for most ratepayers will be an additional $83 on their annual rates bill.

The budget will deliver a helping hand to pensioners, with all eligible pensioners benefiting from a 3.5 per cent increase in their pensioner rate concession.

Sole homeowners on full pensions will receive a $271 concession, which is an increase of $9.

Those on part pensions will also benefit, with their concession increasing to between $77 and $212, depending on whether they own the property solely or jointly.

Mayor Jamieson said a decade of prudent fiscal management and some of the most proactive planning for the future ever delivered by a local government had provided the foundations for a budget focused squarely on delivering a stronger, better and sustainable region.

“Despite the challenges our region has faced over the last few years, our Council is forecast to achieve a strong $31.8 million operating result this year,” he said.

“This enables us to re-double our efforts to provide the services our community requires, as well as continue to invest in the infrastructure and facilities that enhance the livability and prosperity of one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.

“Council is also continuing its long-standing emphasis on sustainability in all forms and is prioritising its efforts to respond to the impacts of a changing climate – the greatest global challenge our world faces right now.

“We cannot do this alone, however, and our community is an integral part of our responsiveness.

“The single-biggest change we can make is stopping green waste going into our landfills, to reduce greenhouse emissions.

“That’s why all eligible households have now been included in the garden organics green bin initiative and, from July, will be playing their part in making the Sunshine Coast Australia’s most sustainable region: healthy, smart, creative.

“Residents who have already committed to doing their bit by using a garden organics green bin will save $27 on their collection service fee, which has been reduced from $62 to $35.”

Council’s Environment Levy will raise $12.2 million to protect and enhance our valued natural environment, including our native plants and animals, waterways and wetlands and coastal environments.

The levy will continue to support the expansion and management of Council’s conservation estate for a range of habitat preservation, catchment management and coastal rehabilitation projects.

Connecting our communities and encouraging a travel-behaviour change will also be front and centre of the work delivered with the proceeds of the Transport Levy.

This levy is forecast to raise $6.8 million for important community programs including: the Flexilink Service in hinterland towns; Kenilworth Community Transport Service; and the Council Link service for eligible persons travelling to their nearest centre.

It will also support Council’s contribution to: the development of the Mass Transit Project detailed business case, being led by the Department of Transport and Main Roads; improving bus stops and access to them, with a focus on accessibility for seniors; RideScore Active Schools program to trial in multiple schools; and the trial MoveSafe Community Education Program.

Sunshine Coast 2022-23 Budget - $847m

This year, the Heritage Levy has been expanded and renamed the Arts and Heritage Levy and will increase by $3 to $16, raising $2.4 million.

The $3 increase supports the delivery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038 and will go directly towards developing and delivering projects to provide career pathways for local emerging artists.

The remainder of the levy, or the same $13 per household, will continue to be spent on achieving the outcomes of the Sunshine Coast Heritage Plan 2021–2031.

Importantly, it will also support cultural heritage projects developed in collaboration with Kabi Kabi, Jinibara and descendants of Australian South Sea Islander peoples.

A total of $3.1 million will be invested in grants to community groups, including $1.4 million through the Community Grants Program to help organisations deliver projects and events, benefiting many residents across our region.

Council will also commit $911,500 to community partnerships with organisations, such as coast guards, chambers of commerce, regional museums, community halls and neighbourhood centres, and more than $770,000 for sports field maintenance.

Another $3.7 million will be allocated to support community events.

Council’s 2022-23 Budget 

  • $162 million to maintain, renew and replace roads, pathways and stormwater assets.
  • $60 million for libraries, galleries, community facilities and community services.
  • $94 million for transport, stormwater and open spaces, servicing development applications, managing property and public health and planning for sustainable growth.
  • $93 million to maintain, renew and replace council’s many parks, gardens and sporting facilities.
  • $52 million for environment programs and services, including beaches, foreshores, bushland conservation and clean energy.
  • $39 million for initiatives to support the resilience of our local economy and opportunities for local businesses, including major events and holiday parks.
  • $7 million for community events and grants.
  • $118 million on waste management services.

Changes in rates and utility charges 

The majority of property owners living in their home will remain on the minimum general rate of $1332.50 per annum, which has increased by $63.50 per annum.

Total Rates and Charges 2021/22






Minimum General Rates           1269.00          1332.50             63.50
240-Litre Wheelie Bin and recycling bin             316.80            332.70             15.90
Environment Levy              80.00              80.00               0.00
Transport Levy              44.00              45.00               1.00
Arts and Heritage Levy              13.00              16.00               3.00
Total Rates and Charges           1722.80          1806.20             83.40


Article source: www.sunshinecoastnews.com.au