East Gippsland Shire Council’s budget process has been extended, following approval by Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek MP.
The annual budget is normally adopted by June 30 each year; however, council now has until August 31 to adopt its 2020-21 Budget and strategic resource plan.
East Gippsland Shire Council CEO Anthony Basford said council requested the extension in order to have a better understanding of the impact of the bushfires when developing the budget.
“The bushfires destroyed a lot of property and assets. As such, the Valuer General is undertaking a revaluation of all impacted properties to value them as they are today. This is expected to take some time,” Mr Basford said.
“To prepare the budget and set the 2020-21 rates, it is important to know the valuation of properties.
“Many staff who are involved in the budget process were responding to the bushfire emergency and it will take some time before council returns to business as usual.”
The extended timeline for preparing and adopting a budget also allows council to consider options to support bushfire affected residents.
“We have already announced the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 rates will be waived for impacted property owners where the main dwelling has been destroyed.
“Recovery involves immediate, medium-term and long-term actions, and we want to make sure our budget supports the work we will be doing,” Mr Basford said.
The process to draft and adopt the annual budget includes public consultation.
“We will let the community know when these opportunities are available, as this is an important step in the process,” Mr Basford said.