Greater Shepparton City Council adopted the 2019/2020 annual budget at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 18 June.
The 2019/2020 Budget proposes a 2.5 per cent increase in rates revenue in line with the Fair Go Rates System.
“Council again elected not to apply to the Essential Services Commission for a variation ensuring a financially sustainable budget for the coming financial year,” Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Cr Kim O’Keeffe said.
“Council’s budget aims to generate an operating surplus, to fully fund asset renewals and to borrow responsibly.
“What was presented for adoption was a financially responsible budget which achieves a balance between wants and needs in order to efficiently manage our resources and provide high quality services and infrastructure to our community.”
The rate increase and a 1.8 per cent increase in kerbside collection charges will generate $79.67 million, excluding supplementary valuations. The proposed rating structure for 2019/2020 has been informed by the Rating Strategy 2017-2021.
The Valuer-General Victoria (VGV) is now the sole valuation authority to conduct valuations for rating purposes on an annual basis. Previously revaluations were completed by Greater Shepparton every two years. This is the first of the centralised annual valuations by the VGV.
In the 2019/2020 financial year Council will spend $37.64m on capital works within the municipality, with $26.28m committed to the new SAM building.
The Budget 2019/2020 was authorised for public submission by Council on 23 April 2019. Public notice was given on 26 April 2019 and submissions invited. The submission period ended on 24 May 2019 and 29 submissions were received. Six of the written submitters elected to be heard at a Special Council Meeting on 4 June 2019.
The submissions ranged in content however generally contained the following themes:
- Tatura Children’s Centre and Community House Carpark (8 submissions);
- Funding of the Australian Botanic Gardens (8 submissions);
- Mooroopna War Memorial (2 submissions);
- Waste Collection (2 submissions); and
- Farm Rates (1 submission)
Through the submissions, a number of changes were made to the draft budget before it was considered for adoption.
The proposed fee increases for the Shepparton Saleyards were removed, which saw them stay at 2018/19 levels.
The Princess Park Facilities Precinct Detailed Design added $237,000 to the capital budget, while Tatura Children’s Centre and Tatura Community House carpark submissions’ requests were covered by $74,000 in the budget.
A total budget for stage for Stage 1 of $242,000 was in the budget for the Mooroopna War Memorial which confirmed appropriate funding was allocated.
“Regardless of the outcome, everyone should be very proud of their efforts in preparing their submission and presenting to Council, which can be daunting,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
“This key process shows that Council listens to our residents and we can work together for mutually beneficial outcomes. Thank you to all who either made a submission or presented to Council,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
Greater Shepparton City Council Director Corporate Services Chris Teitzel said that in simple terms the budget can be broken down into two main areas, how much we plan on spending and how much income we need to fund this spending.
“The spending is made of two components, the operating budget and the capital budget. The operating budget tells you what it costs to run the Council every year and the capital budget includes physical infrastructure, buildings and operational assets as well as funding proposals for these projects,” said Mr Teitzel.
You can view the adopted annual budget on Council’s website.