Community members were invited to provide feedback on both documents during the consultation period which commenced in April, in line with Council’s Community Engagement Policy.
The Annual Budget will continue to support the community and local businesses with pandemic and storm recovery, and deliver on the Council Plan by continuing the progression of key capital works projects including the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct, the Shared Trails Project and the Woodend Golf Club clubrooms upgrade.
Included in the Annual Budget are new initiatives that include the Woodend Racecourse Reserve Master Plan and a shire-wide Equestrian Facilities Plan. Further work will be undertaken to progress the Gisborne Futures project and associated planning scheme amendment and the Romsey Structure Plan.
In total, Council’s Capital Works program will deliver $41.2 million in works across the shire over the next financial year, 37 per cent of Council’s total revenue.
Further highlights of the Annual Budget after the public consultation process include:
- Kyneton Tennis Club – lighting of playing courts 9 and 10.
- Hanging Rock Cricket Club – training net renewal and upgrades. Works will improve the safety of the facilities.
- Macedon Bowling Club – engagement of architect to prepare working drawings for improvements to the Club’s current clubrooms.
- Kyneton Football Netball Club – detailed design planning to develop a female-friendly pavilion and upgraded netball courts at the Showgrounds Reserve.
- Pedestrian safety Woodend – installation of a new slow point prior to the existing crest in Brooke Street Woodend to cater for school and leisure pedestrians crossing, and design and construction of a crossing solution at the intersection of Brooke and Templeton Streets, Woodend.
Council also received additional funding to include the following projects:
- Red Brick Hall, Kyneton – building renewal works and the inclusion of an On-Street Disability Discrimination Act compliant car park. Funded by Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI), $335,000.
- Off Grid Relief and Recovery Centres – taking three grid-connected locations off-grid, or providing the equipment to be ‘self-sufficient’ in terms of electricity, water, and telecommunications in times of emergency. Funded by Preparing Australian Communities – Local Stream program.
Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson said Council had worked hard to provide a budget that minimised financial burden on residents and businesses still recovering from the pandemic and storm events of 2021, and would allow the continuation of key projects that would see the shire continue to thrive.
“I would like to thank all staff, Councillors and the community, who have contributed to the development of the Budget 2022/23 and Council Plan 2021-2031 Year Two action items. It’s exciting to see key projects continuing to progress, and the addition of new projects which will further strengthen our shire and make such a difference to our community,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer, Bernie O’Sullivan said the budget would continue to deliver the priorities of Council as highlighted through the Council Plan, which stemmed from the proactive work undertaken by residents who participated in creating the Community Vision last year.
“Through our advocacy efforts we have been able to attract further funding to deliver our major projects and improve services to the community, as well as include some additional works. We look forward to delivering on Year Two of the Council Plan 2021-2031 and upholding our Community Vision,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Council rates align with the state-wide rate cap of 1.75 per cent in the Budget 2022/23. Last year’s rate increase was 1.5 per cent, and 2 per cent the year before.
Council’s total budgeted income for 2022/23 is $111.5 million, which is mainly comprised of rates, grants, service fees and charges.
Council also endorsed the Asset Plan 2021-2031 at this week’s Scheduled Council Meeting: a 10-year plan outlining Council’s management of assets including buildings, roads, bridges, kerbs and gutters, footpaths, cycling tracks, open space and recreation assets, information communication and technology, stormwater and flood management, and plant, fleet, and equipment. Council’s current assets are valued at more than $964 million (excluding land).