17 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Byron balances books on back of kids and community

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

More money for Byron Shire roads and bridges

The NSW government has announced almost $5 million dollars in funding for Byron Shire infrastructure.

Northern Star dimming under Murdoch shadow

As democracy advocates and journalists around the world did their best to acknowledge World Press Freedom Day on May 3, in regional Australia, The Northern Star was dimming.

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Create the opportunity for everyone to follow their dreams

Local dance group Sprung!! is an integrated dance theatre that has built a community program that creates space for...

Is hydrogen part of a sustainable energy future?

There’s a lot to like about hydrogen. For starters, it’s abundant. Hydrogen can store excess renewable power. When liquified, it’s more energy intense than fossil alternatives. In a fuel cell, it can generate electricity. When it’s burned, the only by-product is water.

Chris Dobney

The Byron Shire Council (BSC) has announced massive cuts to community donations and an increase in childcare costs to balance its 2012–13 budget, on top of a 3.6 per cent rate hike.

In what BSC’s general manager Graeme Faulkner described as ‘a belt-tightening budget’, average residential ratepayers will be slugged an additional $40 in the coming financial year.

BSC has also taken $48,000 from its community donations allocation, leaving it with just $30,800 to disburse this year. And much of this is already committed to regular donations, previously resolved upon by Council to groups including the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and Brunswick Valley Rescue, a Council spokesperson confirmed.

In addition, $7,000 out of this year’s donations budget is earmarked for community groups that apply for a Council ‘donation’ relating to approval costs for community events, such as road closures.

‘Council is currently asking community groups seeking a donation related to an event they will hold next financial year to write to Council asking for support. Council will then assess each application on its merits,’ the spokesperson told Echonetdaily.

The spokesperson added that ‘the provision of childcare services was made cost neutral this financial year’ and ‘the new fees are what Council believes will keep the service cost neutral next financial year’.

‘This means long daycare will increase by $3 per day for children under three, and $4 for children between three and five. However, it is important to note that this does not include any government rebate a parent receives for the cost of child care.’

BSC’s general manager Graeme Faulkner said this would be the third consecutive year that the council’s general rates were raised as per the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal rate pegging, which was this year set at 3.6 per cent.

But he implied that the Council would have opted for a higher rate had it not been capped at this level.

‘Whilst good news for community, it has been a challenge to arrive at a balanced budget that does not slip into deficit,’ he said.

Mr Faulkner said 2012–13 would see the General Fund having a forecasted $40,000 budget surplus, which would result in an estimated General Fund Accumulated Working Fund Surplus of $542,900 for the 2012–2013 financial year.

Mr Faulkner said BSC would this year spend more than $3.82 million on local roads and drainage; $3.02 million on parks, reserves and sporting fields; $2.35 million on property maintenance including community buildings and pools; $1.21 million on land and environment services; $4.58 million on recycling and waste management; $5.191 million on sewer services; and $9.79 million on water supplies in direct maintenance expenditures.

Interestingly, BSC made no direct mention in its budget announcement of the fate of its beleaguered new Sports and Cultural Complex, which remains in limbo as tenders for its management have yet to be let.

But the Council spokesperson told Echonetdaily BSC expects the net cost of the sports complex to be $519,300 next financial year.

‘In terms of outsourcing management of the complex’s multipurpose facility, Council is currently seeking information from potential parties. Council is working with these groups to make sure the right appointment is made to manage this important community facility. Council will be holding meetings later this week as it takes the next steps towards making an appointment,’ the spokesperson said.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.