Council Statement

Councils make communities liveable

Playgrounds, community spaces and recreational and sporting facilities are examples of infrastructure which enhance liveability, all of which Bundaberg Regional Council is delivering in spades.

In addition to the essential infrastructure delivered by Local Government – think roads, landfills and water and sewerage pipes – Council is delivering liveability focussed infrastructure, despite being the level of government least able to afford it1.

While liveability infrastructure may seem less essential at face value, it’s the lifeblood of a regional community and drives growth and new investment.

Those playgrounds are where family memories are made that tie a family to a place and makes it their home.

Those community spaces are where people gather, find like-minded individuals, connect and create a sense of belonging.

Those recreational and sporting facilities give young people a place to train which means they don’t need to move to the big city to chase their dreams.

The lifestyle that this creates makes a region the envy of others, drives migration and growth and in turn the economy.

Bundaberg Regional Council is supporting a Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) campaign which highlights the impacts of cost shifting onto Councils and, ultimately, their communities.

Bundaberg Regional Council CEO Steve Johnston said this ongoing cost shifting was unsustainable and would, inevitably, hurt regional communities.

“Roads, rates and rubbish is a popular misconception about the role of Local Government, particularly in regional communities,” Mr Johnston said.

“We keep the water running, take the sewerage and rubbish away and make sure roads are safe.

“But in the Bundaberg Region we also operate your local art gallery and theatre, provide aged care and seniors housing, foster community connections, coordinate local disaster management and drive economic development initiatives.”

LGAQ Policy Executive and Australian Local Government Association board member Mayor Jack Dempsey said Council was rising to meet the needs of a growing community by investing in infrastructure that not only provided essential services but enhanced liveability.

“In the face of record-breaking economic and population growth, the imperative for Council to prioritise liveability and lifestyle for our community is vital,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“The latest data set released by the ABS quoted the Bundaberg Region as having a population of 102,076 residents, with the current population growth rate at 1.98%2 per annum.

If this population growth rate continues, the Bundaberg Region’s population will surpass 142,000 by 2040.

Even if the region grows at the 10-year historic rate of 1% the region would reach 120,889 by 2040 and 128,326 by 2046.”

“Central to the challenges of growth for any region is ensuring infrastructure not only meets the current needs of a community but caters to its future.

“This is something that Bundaberg Regional Council does well.”

He said in recent years Council had delivered hundreds of infrastructure projects that were now enhancing the liveability and lifestyle of the region’s rapidly growing population.

“These projects include upgrades to key community infrastructure like the Isis Memorial Swimming Pool, to destination recreation spaces like Boreham Park, and the Gin Gin Recreation Reserve.

“Council is simultaneously investing in catalytic infrastructure projects that promise to redefine the region’s liveability on a much larger scale, including the Bundaberg Aquatic Centre, Anzac Park redevelopment and Moore Park Beach masterplan.

“We have had a high level of success with grant applications and securing funding support from other levels of government because we have taken a strategic approach to master planning, remaining forward focussed and creating shovel ready projects waiting for funding opportunities to arise.

“Council rates account for just 3% of all taxes Australians pay so to deliver the amount of community infrastructure that we do and to have ever increasing responsibilities, this funding support is critical.

“Alongside LGAQ I will continue to advocate for the restoration of Federal Assistance Grants to at least 1%, to ensure that we can continue to fund projects and services that Council provides, and that our communities rely on.

“The Bundaberg Region is increasingly a sought-after location to live, work, play and invest and that has occurred not by chance but by design through strategic infrastructure delivery.”


1 Local Government Association of Queensland (

2 ABS, 2022. (