Schrinner Council keeps Brisbane rates lowest, boosts transport, parks, infrastructure

By Our Reporter
Kangaroo Point Housing // Pic supplied

Brisbane residents will retain the cheapest residential rates in south east Queensland under the Schrinner Council’s 2024-25 Budget.

The $4 billion Budget meets Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner’s election commitment to restrain spending, prioritise addressing rising living costs and keep Brisbane moving.

General rates for owner occupiers will increase by 3.8 per cent, with the average total rates increase around $2 a week. Lord Mayor Schrinner stated, “This is a responsible Budget that strikes a balance between putting downward pressure on costs while keeping Brisbane moving forward. Unlike other levels of government, our Council is committed to spending within its means so we don’t add unnecessary costs onto residents now and into the future.”

This is in stark contrast to what would have occurred under a Green/Labor Coalition of Chaos, which made $3.5 billion worth of ill-conceived and unfunded big spending promises during this year’s election. Schrinner emphasised, “The only alternative to our united and experienced team was a Green/Labor Coalition of Chaos who opposed our sensible savings and made $3.5 billion in big spending promises that would have driven up the cost of rates and rent for every Brisbane resident.”

It follows last year’s 3.45 per cent increase to Brisbane’s general rates, which was two per cent lower than the average of neighbouring south east Queensland councils, with Brisbane’s minimum rates $384 less than Gold Coasters in 2024-25. Brisbane also retains the most generous rebate for pensioners along with a $60 on-time payment discount which benefits four out of five homeowners.

SEQ Council Rates Comparison // Pic supplied

Measures in the 2024-25 Schrinner Council Budget include:

  • Cost-of-living relief, including maintaining south east Queensland’s cheapest residential rates, cut-price green bins, return of $2 Summer Dips.
  • The biggest boost to public transport services in Brisbane’s history ($541 million)
  • Operating first Brisbane Metro services
  • Delivering new Kangaroo Point Bridge
  • Delivering Moggill Road Corridor Upgrade Project and Beams Road Project as part of a $977 million infrastructure program
  • Completing Archerfield Wetlands and progressing new sports parks in Pallara and Ellen Grove as part of $125 million investment to improve Brisbane’s lifestyle with better parks and playgrounds
  • New Safer Suburbs Grants of up to $10,000 for community clubs
  • Reforms to better regulate the short-stay accommodation sector
  • Investigation of houses-to-business conversions
  • Wynnum Foreshore Master Plan project
  • Funding for Kedron Brook Master Plan
  • Return of fares on City Hopper services from August 5
  • Investigation into alternative measures to reduce landfill, including residual waste to energy facility
  • Direct action measures to reduce Council’s carbon emissions rather than offset purchasing.

Lord Mayor Schrinner added, “We’re prioritising road upgrades and making Brisbane’s lifestyle even better with new parks and playgrounds while delivering the biggest boost to public transport in decades. This Budget delivers on the commitment I made to Brisbane residents to deliver responsible financial management while addressing the challenges of rising living costs and growth.”

The 2024-25 Council Budget comes amid uncertain global economic conditions, ongoing inflation, and forecasts of sluggish national growth. It also comes amid ongoing cost shifting from Federal and State governments onto local councils despite massive increases to their revenue streams. While the Federal Budget funnelled billions of dollars into cost overruns on State Government road and rail projects, Council was left to fend for itself.

While both the State and Federal Government are doing major cash handouts, Council has undertaken a 10 per cent sensible savings drive to reduce costs being passed onto Brisbane residents. Schrinner concluded, “The 2024-25 Budget is balanced, responsible and once again demonstrates Brisbane residents pay less than other councils but get more.”

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