East Gippsland Shire Council’s Revised Council Plan 2017-2021 and Budget 2019-20 were adopted at its June 25 Council meeting.
Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said the revised draft budget adopted by Council was different to the original draft budget put out for consultation.
“Council responded to early feedback on the draft budget regarding the impact of new property valuations across the three classes of rateable properties, particularly for the farm class of properties,” Cr O’Connell said.
“As a result, Council released a revised draft budget that provided a more even distribution of rates and municipal charge increases across all rating classes – residential, commercial/industrial, and farm.
The adopted budget applies a differential rating system:
- Residential properties pay 100 per cent of general rate
- commercial/industrial properties pay 143 per cent of the general rate (down from 145 per cent in original draft budget)
- farming properties pay 82.5 per cent of the general rate (down from 90 per cent in the original draft budget).
The adopted budget will see an average increase in rates and municipal charge of 2.52 per cent for residential properties, 2.39 per cent for commercial/industrial properties, and 2.45 per cent for farming properties.
“We received 46 submissions on the revised draft budget and I thank those individuals and groups for taking the time to contribute to this important process,” Cr O’Connell said.
Council has also complied with the Fair Go Rates System, which caps the average increase of rates and the municipal charge to 2.5 per cent.
This year’s budget includes a $45.6 million capital works program, with some projects highlighted below:
Roads ($13.857 million) – including road reseal program, shire-wide – $4.160 million; gravel resheet program, shire-wide – $1.5 million; upgrade of Pearson Street, Bairnsdale – $2 million; safety improvements on Scriveners Road, Lakes Entrance – $1.688 million;
Bridges ($3.708 million) – including Timbarra Bridge, Timbarra – $1.357 million; Sandy Flat Road Bridge, Orbost – $981,000;
Drainage ($2.190 million) – including Jones Bay McMillan Street, Bairnsdale – $570,000; Gully Road, Lake Tyers Beach – $500,000;
Footpaths and Cycleways ($2.370 million) – including Omeo mountain bike trails, Stage 1 – $1.350 million; Eastwood Great Alpine Road path – $500,000;
Buildings and Improvements ($3.581 million) – including building renewal, shire-wide – $950,000; new pavilion, Mallacoota Recreation Reserve – $1.013 million; East Gippsland Livestock Exchange upgrades $400,000;
Recreation, Leisure, Parks and Open Spaces ($5.119 million) – including Lucknow Recreation Reserve upgrades – $1.005 million; Lakes Entrance streetscape pavement improvements – $800,000; Orbost streetscape – $500,000;
Plant and Equipment ($7.272 million) – including renewal of vehicles, plant and machinery – $4.040 million; information and communication technology systems – $2.863 million;
Waste Management ($3.162 million) – including upgrades to transfer stations at Marlo, Swifts Creek and Metung $840,000; Lakes Entrance Transfer Station upgrade – $1.5 million;
Other Infrastructure ($4.367 million) – including Lakes Entrance seawall replacement – $1.350; East Gippsland Livestock Exchange sheep pens $850,000; Jemmys Point lookout, Lakes Entrance $750,000.
Council has also allocated $500,000 to social and economic activities to support the community during the drought. This budget will help Council achieve our vision for the future of East Gippsland, as detailed in our Council Plan 2017-2021.
“The Council Plan was reviewed and released for public consultation to ensure it still met the aspirations of our community,” Cr O’Connell said.
Chief Executive Officer Anthony Basford said the budget was developed with a focus on maintaining existing services levels, while continuing to deliver a proactive asset renewal program and ensuring council’s long-term financial sustainability.
“Council is conscious of the need to be as efficient with its resources as possible, while maintaining assets and providing the services the community needs. Our indicators show this budget maintains council in a financially sustainable position to deliver the aims in the Council Plan,” Mr Basford said.