Surf Coast Shire Council has adopted its Budget 2020-21, adding more than $487,000 in new projects that support community aspirations.
Council received 98 community submissions in the exhibition period for the draft budget. Mayor Rose Hodge said the final budget – adopted at the June meeting – demonstrated Council’s commitment to delivering important services and infrastructure, and supporting the community through the coronavirus pandemic.
A total allocation of $1,768,000 for COVID-19 support in 2020-21 was included in the final budget, supplementing the $400,000 of support provided in the 2019-20 financial year. Additionally, $487,910 was allocated to projects put forward by the community.
“Thank you to the community members who took the time to make a submission and to those who presented at the Hearing of Submissions,” Cr Hodge said. “We’re delighted that we were able to accommodate community needs and allocate funds towards a diverse range of projects across the shire.”
A range of allocations was made to projects across the shire following consideration of the community submissions to the Budget 2020-21 including:
Anglesea Art House Landscaping $10,000
Anglesea and District War Memorial $12,500
Lorne Historical Society Façade Stage 2 $50,000
Moriac Greenfields Trail $117,429
Multidisciplinary Arts Collective Financial Assistance $60,000
Nautical Rise Linear Park Indigenous Edible Orchard $19,431
Surf Coast Football Club Grant Pavilion Upgrade $50,000
Walk the Painkalac Stage 1 Detailed Design $50,875
Winchelsea Men’s Shed Car Park $40,000
Zeally Bay Playground Upgrade $42,675
The budget includes a rate increase of 2 per cent – aligning with the rate cap set by the Victorian Government. A record $31 million of capital works is planned for 2020-21, which includes projects already underway such as the Surf Coast Multi-Purpose Indoor Stadium in Torquay and Stribling Reserve Pavilions Redevelopment in Lorne.
“The unprecedented capital works program features a wide range of projects – from playgrounds and sports upgrades, to environmental leadership initiatives and a concept design for the much-needed cultural facility and library,” Cr Hodge said. “They all align with our purpose to help our community and environment to thrive, which is more important than ever as we navigate through the impacts of COVID-19.”
Deputy Mayor Clive Goldsworthy said Council was pleased to adopt the last budget of its four-year term. He highlighted the responsiveness, given it was prepared during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The pandemic creates uncertainty for our communities, so it was important for Council to adopt the budget, allowing the substantial COVID-19 support package to help local businesses and community groups in their recovery.”
Cr Goldsworthy highlighted the strong ongoing savings made through business reform programs in recent years.
“We know that there’s more to do in this area, but our focus on steady and considered reforms has been essential to maintaining the ongoing delivery of important services and projects. This works needs to continue,” he said.
At the June meeting Council was also presented with Our Financial Story, a document which shares Council’s financial challenges as it aims to meet the expectations of a growing community and maintain its assets in good condition for community use.