Mildura Rural City Councillors last night endorsed the 2021-22 Budget which is focused on uninterrupted delivery of the more than 100 crucial services Council provides the community, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.
Last night’s endorsement of the Budget follows a 28-day public consultation period during which submissions from the community were invited.
The $145.6 million Budget prioritises maintaining services for the community including:
- $7.87 million for youth, children and family services
- $5.66 million for aged services
- $3.55 million customer services
- $3.36 million for community safety, health and wellbeing.
This investment allows Council to provide aged and disability support for 1,500 residents, administer 13,500 immunisations, deliver 7,800 Maternal and Child Health appointments, support hundreds of local young people through Youth Services programs and assist around 700 children to enrol in local kindergartens.
The Budget also includes an additional $537,000 left over from Council’s commitment of $1.5 million for COVID-19 relief and recovery over the past 12 months, which Councillors determined should be injected back into projects that support the community.
Mildura Mayor Jason Modica said ongoing financial pressures caused by COVID-19, including delivering millions of dollars in pandemic support to local residents and businesses, as well as increased costs associated with cleaning and maintenance, meant a forecast $1.01 million operating deficit for the coming financial year.
He said despite these pressures, Council has not sought any increase over the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rate cap for 2021-22, which is 1.5%. This is Council’s lowest rate increase in decades.
“Like many other local government areas, businesses and organisations across the country, our operations have been impacted by the pandemic, meaning we’ve needed to prioritise our spending accordingly,” Cr Modica said.
“Instead of looking to additional rate increases outside of the Fair Go Rates cap we’ve adapted services and prioritised funding to ensure we can continue to deliver services and works to support our community.”
While the $43.73 million capital works program is smaller than last year, Council will continue to upgrade and maintain important infrastructure that locals need to go about their daily lives. This includes investing:
- $14.20 million on roads projects
- $2.88 million for waste management projects
- $1.93 million on recreation and leisure projects
- $490,000 on parks, playgrounds and trees
The Budget also includes $16.6 million for two major projects that present significant social and economic benefits for our community. Stage 2 of the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct will include construction of squash courts, an additional administration hub, second playing oval, car park expansion and landscaping to compliment Stage 1 of the project that is due for completion mid-2021. The Powerhouse precinct on Mildura’s riverfront will also be revitalised with significant improvements.
Some other key capital works projects budgeted for in 2021-22 include:
- Renovations to the Lake Cullulleraine Community Complex and improvements to the Lake Cullulleraine foreshore
- Redevelopment and landscaping to Mildura’s Deakin Avenue median between Eighth and Ninth Streets
- Construction of a glass sorting and reprocessing facility at Mildura Landfill
- Lighting upgrade at Henshilwood Recreation Reserve, Irymple
- New cricket nets at Quandong Park, Red Cliffs
To view the 2021-22 Budget visit mildura.vic.gov.au/Budget