The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced Council to defer the annual kerbside rubbish collection.
But residents will be given a say on its long-term future as part of next year’s planned budget community consultations, which Council announced last week.
“The kerbside bulk rubbish collection costs around $250,000, plus the cost to clean up illegal dumping that occurs on street corners, often involving hazardous waste like asbestos,” Mayor Clare Stewart said.
“For this budget, we have to make some difficult decisions, and deferring this program allows us to save costs and allocate funds to grassroots services such as improving our roads and infrastructure, particularly in the hinterland.
“I emphasise that we’ve only deferred the kerbside collection, and as the economic situation improves we can look to press on with it.
“In addition, residents can tell us whether they’d like it to continue when we go to the community to consult on future budget spending. It will be a chance for ratepayers to consider the cost, and whether they consider it good value, but also the public health implications.”
The Mayor said the pandemic has had a $1.4M shortfall this year, which had to be considered when developing the 20/21 budget.
“We must save where we can and spend only where we must during the year ahead,” Cr Stewart said.
The closure of facilities such as Noosa Aquatic Centre and Council’s holiday parks, coupled with the waiving of fees and charges and other initiatives to help Noosa’s businesses survive the pandemic, has resulted in a significant blow to Council’s bottom line.
“As such, it will be a back-to-basics budget next year so we can continue to maintain our local infrastructure, such as roads and facilities, to the high standard residents expect, plus continue supporting our community through the pandemic without applying too great a financial impost on ratepayers.”
Council will adopt the 2020/21 budget on July 10.