Oakey Council building

Toowoomba Regional Council has this week adopted the 2020/21 budget with projects earmarked for Oakey and surrounding district. The projects form part of a $215 million capital works budget, which this year includes a $50 million Pandemic Response Investment.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council's $567 million financial plan would maintain and upgrade existing services and facilities while planning for a brighter future.

"Council remains committed to implementing a responsible and calculated financial approach in its Budget planning and delivery," Mayor Antonio said.

"We have a responsibility to plan for maintenance and upgrades to our existing infrastructure to guarantee the long-term viability of essential services to residents.

"The program will build on our earlier economic stimulus packages and is designed to help the community recover as Coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

"The Coronavirus pandemic forced Council to reshape our budget plans to focus sharply on how we can directly support communities across our Region. Fortunately, Council's solid financial footing has allowed us to provide an operating budget of $352 million and develop a $215 million capital program.

"This includes a $165 million regular 12-month calendar of capital works. In addition, Council has dedicated $50 million to a Pandemic Response Investment program with accelerated projects to stimulate economic activity across the Toowoomba Region.

"Stimulating local employment throughout our Region is one of the most constructive and immediate ways Council can help revive and sustain our regional economy.

"As part of the overall capital budget, Council has allocated a further $2.7 million to begin work on the next section of upgrading and widening the Bowenville–Moola Road. This is a key freight route in our Region with seven cattle feedlots and four piggery operations. The investment will not only create jobs but strengthens the economic growth of key industries in the Toowoomba Region and its neighbours.

"The Council budget includes several upgrade projects including the $3.2 million Jondaryan-Saint Ruth Road upgrade.

"Through the Australian Government's Black Spot Program, Council will also commence safety improvements on the Kingsthorpe Haden Road ($630,000) and Yalangur-Lilyvale Road ($500,000).

"Over the next 12 months, Council will undertake rural road low-cost seal upgrades in the Oakey area on Sexton-Weise Road ($300,000) and Williams and Janetzki Road ($250,000)

"The budget allocates $580,000 for the renewal of Oakey's Campbell Street footpath from Lorrimer Park to the Swimming Pool. The path provides an important pedestrian route from the school to the town centre.

"The Oakey Swimming Pool will receive $847,000 for the renewal of change rooms and construction of a new Kiosk. This upgrade is part of Council's commitment to providing accessibility to our Region's pools.

"Each year Council prioritises park upgrades in growing areas guided by the 2016 Open Space Strategy. In this year's Budget, Council has allocated $3.42 million for the continued upgrade of the parks including $144,000 for Oakey Corridor Linear Park.

"The Play Facilities Renewal Program provides for the replacement, relocation and renewal or removal of existing park equipment including softfall and shade structures. This year $521,500 has been allocated for safety improvement works and renewals across the Region including Lions Park and Alan Cox Park in Oakey.

"Oakey Sewage Pump Station will also be upgraded at the cost of $500,000.

"Council recognises water is a limited resource and is focused on refining its practices where possible. This year Council will begin testing its Smart Water Meter Program. Through smart meter technology, residents will be able to monitor their water usage and identify leaks which will lead to savings.

Oakey will also benefit from regionwide projects, including:

  • Regional Rehabilitation Program             $15 million
  • Regional Reseal Program                         $8 million
  • Regional Resheet Program                         $6.17 million
  • Asphalt Renewal Program                         $3.89 million
  • Stormwater Drainage Renewal Program $500,000
  • Footpath Renewal                                     $1.45 million   
  • Community Grants Program $740,000

"Council's capital works program is an important investment in the essential services we provide for the community.

"The additional $50 million to the capital works program for the Pandemic Response Investment Program follows Council's initiative to enhance our Procurement Policy and offer local firms the best chance to do business with us."

For full details of the 2020/21 Budget, please visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/budget