A massive investment in capital works across Knox and continued commitment to surplus budgets and responsible financial management, headline Council’s adopted 2019-20 Annual Budget.
Councillors voted to approve the draft Budget at last night’s Ordinary Meeting of Council, and the organisation will now begin working to deliver the planned income and expenditure required to meet key goals and strategies outlined in the Knox Community and Council Plan 2017-2021.
The Budget includes a Capital Works program of $94.69 million, an increase on last year’s spending, of which $32.71 million will go towards maintaining and renewing community assets, and $61.98 million on new and upgraded community assets.
Some significant capital works projects for 2019-20 include:
- $5.5 million towards construction of the Henderson Road Bridge;
- $9.30 million for local road works;
- $15.33 million to improve public open spaces;
- $37.94 million towards the improvement of buildings within Knox;
- $5.24 million for works on footpaths and cycle-ways; and
- $3.45 million for drainage works.
Council has also conducted an extensive review of its expenditure to identify savings and as a result, the budget is on track to achieve an operational surplus that will in turn fund future capital works projects.
The proposed rate increase is 2.5% in line with the State Government’s Fair Go Rates System. The additional Council eligible pensioner rebate of $100 will be maintained.
The Budget also sets the scene for ongoing advocacy by Council to secure State and Federal Government support for significant local projects, including the Knox Regional Sports Park (KRSP), Rowville Rail and the Knox Tram.
As stated by Mayor, Cr Jake Keogh:
This Budget is all about building and renewing the capital works infrastructure that makes our City a great place to live, play and work.
Aside from big-ticket items like the Henderson Road Bridge, we are getting on with the job of delivering key local infrastructure, whether that’s local roads, footpaths, playgrounds, reserves and drains. That’s exactly what our community expects us to do, and I’m pleased to say that Knox City Council is delivering in spades.
At the same time, Council is also ensuring it is living within its means by streamlining and making more accessible, a range of key services for ratepayers.
We are increasing a number of online services that residents and ratepayers can access 24 hours a day, including paying rates, pet registrations, booking a hard waste collection, enquiring about building or planning permits and reporting graffiti among other examples.
All in all, we have delivered a financially responsible-budget that will allow Council to realise a number of key long-term projects, while delivering an operating surplus to provide for continued investment in community infrastructure.