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Somerset Regional Council 2023-2024 Budget

I am proud to present Somerset Regional Council’s 2023-2024 budget to the community.

Council is mindful of the economic pressures facing the community. With the official Brisbane inflation rate at 7.4%, Council has decided on a 5.5% general rate increase for owner occupiers on the minimum general rate.

The 2023-2024 financial year will see a $125 million budget program with $48 million in capital works projects, in addition to major flood restoration throughout the region. These projects focus on supporting the safety, liveability, and economy of the Somerset community. 

Major capital projects for 2023-2024 include commencing the replacement of the Lester Kropp Bridge at Villeneuve; widening of key emergency evacuation routes at Toogoolawah and Lowood; kerb and channelling renewal and road widening; pavement renewal and bitumen resealing works throughout the region.

Fernvale Sports Park oval will see a $250,000 injection for top dressing, levelling and irrigation. At Graham Road, Fernvale, $800,000 has been allocated for road widening, kerb and channelling and stormwater.

Stage 2 refurbishment works at Lowood Pool will feature carpark construction, solar panel installation, new signage and fencing.

Streetscaping works in Toogoolawah will include footpath and stormwater upgrades in Cressbrook Street. Kilcoy Memorial Hall will undergo $400,000 in improvements, including upgrades to the kitchen, loading bay and waterproofing.

While Council’s rating base is an important source of funding at almost 25%, the majority comes from government grants, at 48%.

Our team works hard to secure funding and we are grateful for the support we receive from Queensland and Australian Governments.

An estimated $30 million flood restoration program will help Council build back better from the immense damage caused to our road network from two declared flood events in February and May 2022.  

Council is continually looking at innovative ways to reduce costs, keep rates affordable and maximise the benefit of available funds for the community.  These include annual savings in telecommunications, electricity, and insurance of around $1 million.

Rooftop solar is an initiative that will not only reduce costs but benefit the environment. Solar is being installed at 11 facilities in 2023, in addition to the 17 sites that had rooftop solar installed in recent years. 

These solar sites will save around $2.5 million in electricity costs over the life of these assets and reduce carbon emissions by hundreds of tonnes each year.

Somerset local government area has the highest percentage of households with rooftop solar in Queensland and the second highest in Australia after Adelaide Plains in South Australia. Somerset has 60.2% of households with rooftop solar compared with 43.9% across the state.

Solar lighting will be installed at Lowood Recreation Complex carpark this year. This will complement planned drainage improvements, gully bank stabilisation and bridge evaluation works at the complex.

In another project with benefits for ratepayers, and the environment, Council is investigating ways to reduce landfill methane emissions and provide Council with carbon offsets and additional income.

The flaring of landfill gases is proposed for Esk Landfill. Rehabilitation works at Kilcoy Landfill has been earmarked this year with $2.2 million allocated for the project.

Costs will be reduced for Council and the more than 4,000 dog owners in Somerset with the extension of the dog registration period to three years. In 2022 Council extended the dog registration period for one year, at no additional cost, to reduce cost of living pressures for our community.

Council will now expand this assistance by extending the dog registration coverage period from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026. This trial will help support our residents and reduce Council administration costs.

I thank the entire Council team and my fellow Councillors Helen Brieschke, Sean Choat, Cheryl Gaedtke, Kylee Isidro, Jason Wendt and Bob Whalley for their continued support and hard work in preparing this budget and their commitment to the Somerset community. 

Mayor Graeme Lehmann

Graeme Lehmann
Mayor, Somerset Regional Council


(Left to right) Cr Sean Choat, Cr Bob Whalley, Cr Kylee Isidro, Mayor Graeme Lehmann, Cr Jason Wendt, Cr Cheryl Gaedtke, Cr Helen Brieschke.

Budget Documents