Council adopts 2019/20 Annual Report

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Baw Baw Shire Council last night adopted its 2019/20 Annual Report of Operations and Financial Report.

The documents transparently report Baw Baw Shire’s performance, achievements, and financial statements over the financial year, categorised by Council’s four strategic objectives of Vibrant Communities, Thriving Economy, Safe and Sustainable Environments and Organisational Excellence.

Key highlights of 2019/20 include:

Vibrant Communities

  • Doubled the investment in road maintenance to $8 million, leading to more works and improved response times.
  • Delivered 25 building and facility projects throughout the Shire totalling $2.2 million.
  • Delivered new and upgraded sporting pavilions at Hallora, Darnum and Buln Buln.
  • Completed construction of the $3 million Warragul Early Learning Centre.

Thriving Economy

  • Successfully completed the Better Approvals Program with the support of Small Business Victoria, resulting in a streamlined application process and a dedicated business support concierge.
  • Supported the business community through the delivery of Council’s Stage One Business and Community Support Package, including fee waivers, subsidies and a $100,000 grants program.
  • Supported several major events pre-pandemic, including Ballet Under the Stars, the PGA Pro-Am, MBAV State Downhill Championships, and Collingwood Football Club Community Day.

Safe and Sustainable Environments

  • Installation of solar systems at Warragul Citizen’s Centre and Drouin Kindergarten, reducing energy consumption.
  • Implementation of additional free green drop off days during January and March 2020 to address and prepare for bushfire threat.
  • Development of criteria for introduction of a reduced rate levy to encourage landowners to protect and enhance the environment and biodiversity.
  • Investigation of planning instruments (overlays and zoning) and regulatory options (local laws) for providing additional protection to vegetation and trees in township urban growth zones.

Organisational Excellence

  • Introduced a Virtual Assistant to our website to ensure customers can receive an immediate response to their queries, at any hour. Since April 2020, BawBot has successfully engaged in over 3000 interactions.
  • Implementation of CivicClerk to improve transparency of Council Meetings, such as the ability to bookmark recorded livestreams.
  • Developed a Major Projects Management Framework to ensure a structured and consistent approach to the planning, design, procurement, delivery and completion of major infrastructure projects.
  • Successful rollout of Council’s OHS framework, Donesafe, to operational teams.

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

As noted by Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“Despite the unprecedented challenges of the last few months, Council has successfully delivered several major initiatives that will benefit our community for years to come.

“This year we introduced of our new roads’ maintenance contract, doubling the investment in road maintenance to $8 million. We’ve also completed sporting pavilions in Hallora, Darnum and Buln Buln, welcomed 132 kindergarteners to the $3 million Warragul Early Learning Centre, and opened dog parks in Drouin, Warragul and Trafalgar.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to former CEO Alison Leighton for her work in the first part of this financial year, and to current CEO Mark Dupe for his steady leadership through one of the most disruptive years in recent memory.”

As noted by Deputy Mayor Cr Michael Leaney

“I am proud that Council was able to deliver the stage one Covid-19 business and community support package within such a short timeframe, when our businesses needed it most.

“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Council commenced monthly community briefings to improve transparency and further engage with our residents. The Council Pop-Up program also ensured Council came to smaller communities and offered residents a chance to drop in and have their say.

“I look forward to continuing this path of Baw Baw being an accessible, transparent and engaging Council for every resident, no matter where they live.”

As noted by CEO Mark Dupe

“In a year like no other, I could not be prouder of the work Council has delivered for the benefit of our community.

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on Baw Baw Shire – like every Local Government in Victoria – forcing numerous changes to the delivery of our services. The team has been resilient and responsive in adapting to these challenges without compromising on the quality of services delivered.

“I look forward to working alongside Council next year as we guide a new strategic direction for Baw Baw.”

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