Why is our Council swimming in cash as rates soar ?

If you’re a Noosa ratepayer, you may need to sit down for this.

Earlier this year Noosa Matters revealed the current council had increased general rates by a whopping 40% in their four budgets since they were elected.

That’s right, the increase was more than double inflation over the same period. 

The following chart showed that extra rate money was not required for services or infrastructure. It simply ended up in the bank.

To put those amounts in context, the total unrestricted cash of $64m in the bank at 30 June 2022 was more than all the total general rates of $60m paid by ratepayers that year. 

So why was there any increase at all, let alone almost 15% that year, and 11% in the following year? Pointless question, no one in council even acknowledges the ongoing stupidity despite the financial difficulty of many in the community.  

In the interests of transparency, our next chart shows the total end-of-financial-year bank balance that includes ‘restricted’ unspent cash like government grants that must be spent on specific projects. 

An up-to-date financial report is made available to council meetings every month as required by legislation. That’s to allow financial oversight by the elected council. 

Despite a number of flashing red lights, including a record August cash bank balance of $141 million, our elected Councillors’ ‘oversight’ took – as usual – less than 5 minutes in the recent 3 hour September meeting.  

Instead of getting a couple of questions about minor issues, staff should be grilled on why the recommended budgets have included huge general rate increases when they were clearly not required. 

Cr Jurisevec may well suggest council is receiving interest on the unspent cash, but higher inflation means that cash is losing even more value sitting in the bank.

Many of our ratepayers are doing it tough, and the rhetoric from Council PR has acknowledged this over and over.

But words are cheap.  Who’s going to keep a lid on runaway rate increases if our elected leaders don’t?


Leave a Reply