Bold Budget Delivers on Roads and Infrastructure

Southern Grampians Shire Council has adopted the 2022-23 Council Budget, which supports the community post-COVID and invests almost $30 million in capital works, major projects and roads.

The Budget was adopted at a Special Meeting of Council on Wednesday night, along with the Long-Term Financial Plan and Asset Plan.

While last year’s Budget was designed to respond directly to the continuing impacts of COVID 19, this year’s budget reflects a renewed focus and commitment to growth, renewal, and the delivery of major projects and services.

The 2022-23 budget includes several key initiatives identified in the Council Plan 2021-2025:

  • Complete construction of the serviced industrial land on Port Fairy Road and commence sales
  • Develop a new Cultural Arts Strategy for the Shire to direct Council investment and deliver integrated programming across all townships and enrich community and civic life
  • Completing a Small Towns Strategy to provide clear direction on future planning and infrastructure priorities in each of the smaller towns within the Shire
  • Progress the new Hamilton Art Gallery Project into detailed design
  • Complete detailed design of CBD as per adopted masterplan (2020) to enable construction in future years (subject to funding); and
  • Commence design of a network of multiuse trails to make these projects grant ready.

The total Capital Works program of over $29.4 million is a significant investment in roads, bridges, footpaths and associated infrastructure works. The program includes significant Government investment into projects which must be delivered to meet community and funding objectives. Highlights of the Capital Works Program include:

  • Continued significant investment into local roads, bridges, footpaths and other Council owned infrastructure
  • Progress with the construction of an Intergenerational Playground at the Hamilton Botanic Gardens
  • Progress the redevelopment of the Melville Oval Precinct; and
  • Implement works associated with Council Buildings Asset Management Strategy.

For the 2022-23 year, the State Government, under the fair go rates system, has set the rate cap at 1.75 percent. The cap applies to both general rates and municipal charges and is calculated based on Council’s average rates and charges. The 1.75 percent increase applies to the total rates revenue received by Council, not to individual ratepayers.

The municipal charge will increase from $206 to $209 (this is a 1.5% increase bringing the total collected to 10% of rate revenue).

The service charge will remain at $360 for all improved residential properties in the Hamilton, Balmoral, Branxholme, Byaduk, Byaduk North, Cavendish, Coleraine, Dunkeld, Glenthompson, Penshurst and Tarrington urban areas and “refuse collection areas” for the collection and disposal of refuse, recycling and FOGO.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Bruach Colliton said the 2022-23 budget is bold and has been developed to help drive the Southern Grampians Shire into the future.

“Southern Grampians Shire Council Budget 2022-23 is a responsible, yet aspirational financial plan, focused on delivering more than 70 services of Council to the Southern Grampians Shire community, along with major strategic projects for our region.

“In the second year of the Council term, the Budget 2022-23 continues to progress the strategic objectives and deliver the key actions of the Council Plan 2021-2025. The Budget has also been developed in line with the Southern Grampians Shire Community Vision 2041, our Long-Term Financial Plan, our Asset Plan and our Community Investment Plan.

“A capital works budget of $29.4 million, the largest we’ve ever had, will see us deliver on some long-awaited major projects in recreation, tourism and economic development and invest in our critical infrastructure of roads, bridges and footpaths.

“We understand that our community has high expectations of us and what we deliver so it’s important that we continue to identify efficiencies and review all activities against community identified priorities. This may mean examination and evaluation of our core services and how we can best provide those to our community.

“We believe this Budget is both balanced and innovative, providing value for money for our ratepayers,” Cr Colliton said.

The adopted Budget, Long Term Financial Plan and Asset Plan will be available to view at www.sthgrampians.vic.gov.au/publications and in hard copy at Council’s Brown Street office and the Greater Hamilton Library.

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