Council adopts 2018/19 Annual Report

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Baw Baw Shire Council has adopted the 2018/19 Annual Report of Operations and Financial Report after receiving sign off from the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO).

The Annual Report transparently reports on Council’s operations, performance and legislative requirements over the financial year.

The Annual Report forms a suite of documents that all Victorian Councils are required to produce under the Local Government Act 1989.

Across the year, Baw Baw Shire Council delivered a number of achievements across four strategic objectives; Vibrant communities, thriving economy, safe and sustainable environments and organisational excellence.

Key highlights of 2018/19 include:

Vibrant Communities

  • Secured funding for a new Warragul Early Learning Centre, Drouin Early Learning Centre extension and new kindergarten for Trafalgar.

  • Completed the West Gippsland Arts Centre (WGAC) redevelopment project.

    • Since opening in November 2018, over 24,000 people have attended events, due to an increase in the capacity and an increase in the number of programmed events in the redeveloped theatre.

  • Delivered approximately $295,000 road safety improvements via successful applications for Blackspot projects at Labertouche Road North and Main South Road.

    Thriving Economy

  • Attracted more than 9,000 attendees to the World Jousting Championships, held at Lardner Park in June 2019.

  • Welcomed more than one million visitors to West Gippsland – a milestone achievement for the region.

  • Increased third-party funding/grants from $5 million in 2017/18 to $9 million in 2018/19 – a record achievement from external funding.

    Safe and Sustainable Environments

  • Secured $125,000 Emergency Management grant funding to support the ongoing recovery effort for the recent Stoney Creek and Bunyip bushfires. Council staff continue to provide long term recovery support to the affected communities.

  • Completed over 21,100 Fire Hazard Inspection program inspections during the 2018/19 summer season.

  • Worked with the Friends of Drouin Trees to develop an online Trees of Drouin web portal.

    Organisational Excellence

  • Implemented a new phone system that has helped deliver improved customer service to the community by reducing call wait times.

  • Improved customer service response times, with:

    • Phone calls answered within 52 seconds (down from 91 seconds)

    • Incoming correspondence answered within average 24 days, down from 34 days.

  • Introduced ‘Live-Chat’, an online customer service software tool, with 93% of live chat enquiries are resolved at first point of contact.

    To see the full Report of Operations and Financial Report, go to Annual Report.

    As stated by Mayor Cr Mikaela Power

    “Achieving one million visitors for the first time is a major milestone for business and tourism in Baw Baw. We also nearly doubled the external funding secured for crucial projects from $5 million in 17/18 to $9 million in 18/19 – a great testament to Council’s commitment to community advocacy. In particular, the funding secured for a new Warragul Early Learning Centre, the Drouin Early Learning Centre extension and a new kinder for Trafalgar has been vitally important.

    I want to thank my fellow Councillors and Council staff for their leadership, involvement and service during 2018/19. A big thank you also to the Baw Baw community, for your contributions to making Baw Baw a great place to live and work.”

    As stated by Deputy Mayor Cr Danny Goss

    “The past financial year has been marked by significant achievements. On top of the major projects delivered and funding secured, we’ve also delivered real improvements in customer service. The roll out of our Council Pop-Up rural outreach program has provided a means for our more remote communities to engage with us directly, while the introduction of our online Live Chat service has been a great success with more than 90% of live chat enquiries resolved there and then.

    It’s been a big year. This annual report speaks to Council’s community focused approach and that’s great to see.”

    As stated by CEO Alison Leighton

    “On behalf of the Executive team, I take great pride in commending Council for its outstanding work during 2018/19. I wish to thank all of our Councillors, volunteers and Council officers for their diligence and dedication to the community. I look forward to working alongside Council in 2019/20 as we continue to deliver on behalf of all of our residents.”

/Public Release. View in full here.