City of Ballarat releases its 2019/20 Draft Budget

The City of Ballarat has released its Draft Budget today, outlining its financial plan for the 2019/20 financial year.

Mayor of Ballarat, Cr Samantha McIntosh, said the draft budget would provide the means to deliver on a range of important projects to facilitate the city’s future growth.

“As a council, we are committed to preparing for future growth while at the same time ensuring the qualities that define us as a city, such as our significant heritage, are maintained for residents and future generations.”

“I’m confident that this draft budget is provides the means for us to strike that balance and continue to support the future prosperity of our city.”

“The 2019/20 draft budget includes provision for a number of outstanding projects that will deliver on the aspirations outlined in our Council Plan.”

“Headlining these projects is $15 million over the next three years for stage one Bridge Mall and Bakery Hill precinct works, including reopening of the Bridge Mall.”

The Ballarat Central Library will receive $1.9 million over two years towards its first major refurbishment since it was opened in 1994. Works will include state of the art technology centre and the removal of the Market Street weigh bridge to expand onsite parking.

“$2 million will be included for Civic Hall stage two works which will include the delivery of a commercial kitchen and stage upgrades to enable the venue to attract a broader range of events.”

$3.5 million has been allocated to the installation of energy efficient LED street lighting across Ballarat over four years, while facilities maintenance will be boosted by $1 million over the next two years.

The draft budget also proposes an additional $500,000 for trees every year for 10 years to give us genuine capital to deliver on the urban forest strategy and the aim of a 40 per cent tree canopy.

Mayor McIntosh said the council’s excellent financial position had enabled a $59 million allocation to City of Ballarat’s core capital program. This will deliver upgrades to key infrastructure including the city’s network of roads, drainage, bridges and footpaths.

“Council is responsible for maintaining $1.7 billion of assets, which includes a significant portion of ageing heritage infrastructure. Extra funding will help us to keep pace with the need to maintain our suite of assets across the city.”

“To support this aim, the 2019/20 draft budget includes the introduction of a new policy which will see a minimum of 30 per cent of rate revenue dedicated to core capital works, allowing more capacity in the budget.

Mayor McIntosh said the draft budget be available for public feedback for four weeks from today.

“We encourage our residents to read the draft and contribute their feedback.”

The City of Ballarat’s Draft Budget, Strategic Resource Plan, and Council Plan 2017-2021 amendments are available online through mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au – from today.

Submissions must be received at Ballarat Town Hall by 9am Monday 17 June 2019.

All written submissions and presentations will be presented at a Special Council Meeting to be held on Wednesday 19 June 2019 at 7pm in the Council Chamber, Ballarat Town Hall.

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