Even as the Australian competition regulator asked businesses to desist from raising prices under the garb of the contentious carbon tax (See: Hold prices till carbon tax costs evaluated: Australian regulator) , Brisbane City Council presented its $3.1 billion budget today, saying rates would increase by 4.5 per cent, which means the average ratepayer would have to find an extra $54.52 a year.
According mayor Graham Quirk, the rise could have been kept to 2.6 per cent, or $31.48 a year, if not for costs associated with the carbon tax, including landfill charges.
Quirk said he had kept an election promise to keep the average rate increase to 5 per cent or less noting that the rise was lower than the average annual increase in valuations across Brisbane of 5.76 per cent.
He added, the budget was focused on the potential for economic growth in the Brisbane City Council area, and was helping create a cleaner, greener and more accessible city.
The budget included $1.4 billion to tackle traffic congestion and improve road safety with $465 million to commence tunnelling work on Legacy Way, linking the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.
Allocations of $10.5 million to improve ferry terminals and $7.7 million to upgrade bus stops have also been made. Also $27 million have been allocated for development of additional bike-ways.
Quirk, who took over the city's leading role when premier Campbell Newman moved to state politics last year, added that the $23 per tonne carbon price would increase costs to the local government by $15 million.