Balanced budget adopted by council

Council has adopted the 2019-2020 Budget and Council Plan 2018-2022, update 2019.

The two major
documents were endorsed without change, following the review of 52 public

The Budget
forecasts a recurrent operating surplus of $1.4 million, while supporting
services to the community costing $314.4 million.

A strategic
capital works program of $117 million will help complete a raft of major
projects and progress the next wave of new and upgraded facilities.

The Budget was
developed in line with the 11 strategic priorities contained in the Council
Plan 2018-22.

It balances the
delivery of vital infrastructure and service delivery, while restricting the
average general rate rise to 2.5 per cent, meeting the Victorian Government’s
rates cap.

Highlights of the 2019-2020 Budget include:

  • A unified
    Community Investment Support Fund offering grants of more than $8.3 million – a
    rise of 30.1 per cent from 2018-19;
  • The
    introduction of a flexible parking trial from December, offering motorists free
    parking for 30 minutes in CBD on-street two-hour parking zones;
  • The
    completion of major projects such as the Drysdale Integrated Children’s Centre
    ($7.5 million) and Purnell Road Child and Family Centre in Corio ($6 million);
  • The continuation of
    the hard waste service trial ($3 million), which offers residents one book-in
    residential collection in 2019-20.

The total rates and charges for an average
$546,151 residential property in 2019-20 will be $1617.95.

Changes in individual rates notices will be
influenced by residential property valuations, which increased by an average of
13.1 per cent across the municipality.

Where a property has increased in value
over the past year by more than the average 13.1 per cent, the landowner’s rate
increase may be higher than 2.5 per cent.

Conversely, properties that saw experienced
price variations below the average will draw lower rate bills.

The City will directly contact ratepayers who
are eligible for a rates assistance waiver due to their properties increasing in
value by more than 50 per cent without improvements.

Other affordable payment arrangements,
including the deferral of rates, will be considered on an individual basis for
people experiencing financial difficulty.

The Council
Plan Update will ensure resources are directed to areas of need, backed by a
strategic and community-led approach to prioritising and developing infrastructure.

It contains a
list of actions in 2019-20 to address our key priorities and deliver
improvements to our services and programs.

Acting Mayor – Councillor Peter Murrihy

Council has sought
to address the growing demand for facilities and services while delivering a
financially responsible Budget.

We have taken a
community-led approach to new infrastructure, without losing sight of the need
to renew our existing buildings and heritage assets.

introduction of initiatives such as free parking and the hard waste collection
show our commitment to improving the services we provide to the community.

Councillor Pat Murnane – Chair, Finance portfolio

The City has
performed well financially in 2018-2019, placing council in a stable position to
be able to meet the larger commitments of the next couple of years.

The 2019-20 Budget
has allocated $10 million towards building the $91 million Civic Precinct and
$4.15 million for the digital transformation project.

I’m pleased to
report residents will experience limited, manageable rate increases, whilst
benefiting from a $117 million capital works program and an $8.3 million
community grants fund.

/Public Release. View in full here.