Council has released its Proposed Budget 2020/21, which focuses on the continued delivery of essential services and initiatives to support the community to recover from a challenging start to the year.
The Proposed Budget 2020/21 and Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020/21 Update) will be available for public comment until Friday 17 July. Once community feedback is considered, the documents will be amended as appropriate and presented to Council for final endorsement at a meeting scheduled for 27 July 2020.
Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Mike Symon, said the Draft Budget reflected the need to support the community following the impacts brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic and by continuing to deliver capital projects that will help drive the economy through recovery.
“Despite the impacts of COVID-19, we have been able to put forward a Budget that delivers an extensive capital works program of $85.47 million to be undertaken in 2020/21, with a modest operational surplus of $1.3 million, excluding extraordinary external influences resulting from the pandemic,” Cr Symon said.
The capital investment includes funding of $26.56 million from external grants and $38.06 million from Council operations and cash holdings.
For the 2020/21 financial year, Council proposes to adapt its service delivery which will result in a $7.43 million realignment of Budget towards COVID-19 relief and recovery responses for the Maroondah community.
“Specific funding of $500,000 has been made available for Council to assist towards community recovery and relief as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include a special one-off targeted COVID-19 community grant program to support community relief and wellbeing,” Cr Symon said.
The updated Council Plan details the range of strategies that will be adopted over the coming year. The plan outlines Council’s commitment to working in partnership with the community to ensure the work and priorities set by Council align with the community’s vision.
In addition, a proposed modest rate increase of 2 per cent is in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System. This will help fund the package of capital works and ensure continuity of Council’s 120-plus services and programs.
“This impact on Council’s Budget means that to be able to fund the response and recovery phases of COVID-19, now and in the future, maintaining Council’s income streams is as important as ever,” Cr Symon said.
“It is also vital that we continue to invest in capital projects that will create opportunities for economic and jobs growth through this challenging time,” he added.
Initiatives and major projects
Contained within the Proposed Budget 2020/21 are 65 initiatives, including 26 major projects, as identified in the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020/21 Update).
Among these include: undertaking a staged redevelopment of the Croydon Community Wellbeing Precinct; designing and constructing multi-level carparks at Croydon, Ringwood, Heathmont and Heatherdale stations; establishing a regional cricket hub at Jubilee Park sporting precinct; and designing and constructing sporting/multipurpose pavilion redevelopments at Silcock Reserve, Proclamation Park, Springfield Reserve and Ainslie Park.
“Our $85.47 million capital works program also sees significant investment in building and community facilities ($69.2m); local roads and associated infrastructure improvements ($2.89m); footpath and cycle replacement/construction ($3.05m); recreational, leisure and community facility upgrades ($2.7m); drainage renewal ($2.57 million) and parks and open space ($1.41m),” Cr Symon said.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic has been unprecedented in its impacts to the economic, social and emotional health and wellbeing of our community. While Council has continued to provide the majority of its services during various stages of the pandemic, the required closure of our leisure facilities such as Karralyka, Aquanation, Aquahub, Ringwood and Dorset Golf, The Rings and Maroondah Nets has resulted in a loss of approximately $10 million in user fees,” he said.
“Council has a key role in coordinating COVID-19 community emergency relief referral processes and recovery planning at a local level. It is therefore crucial that we are able to adapt and respond to the social and economic needs of our community over the course of the next financial year,” Cr Symon said.
The Proposed Budget 2020/21 and Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020/21 Update) also set the scene for a number of key advocacy priorities and projects that plan for Maroondah’s long-term future.
These include undertaking a municipal-wide review of shopping centres in Maroondah with a view to developing a Community Shopping Centre Strategy; implementing the new Arts and Cultural Development Strategy 2020-2025; developing the Maroondah Liveability and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-2031; developing a new Croydon Structure Plan; implementing contracts for waste collection, landfill and recycling; implementing an accelerated streetscape enhancement plan, including a significant increase in tree planting; and advocating to Commonwealth and Victorian governments for provision of new and upgraded major transportation infrastructure, including public transport improvements in the Bayswater Business Precinct.
“Further significant upgrades to our sporting pavilions and facilities have the ability to change the face of our sporting landscape in a way that levels the playing field for female players,” Cr Symon said.
“The Proposed Budget 2020/21 has been developed at a difficult time in the history of our community, however it has been set using a rigorous process of consultation and review to ensure continuity of our 120-plus services and programs, protection of Council’s $1.91 billion in net assets, delivery of $85.47 million extensive capital projects, and a financially affordable future for our ratepayers, with an underlying operating surplus of $1.3 million,” he said.
“Council is confident this Draft Budget 2020/21 delivers fairness, responsibility and opportunity in equal measure, and we’re keen to know what people think. I invite our community to look at both documents and have their say.
“By taking certain recovery measures, we aim to provide full support to assist our communities to get back on their feet following the pandemic, while continuing to provide ongoing essential services, facilities and programs,” Cr Symon added.
“While we are continuing to provide these essential services to our community, we are acutely aware of the financial difficulties many people may be facing in these uncertain times. If there are any ratepayers who are having difficulty paying their rates, or other Council payments, they are encouraged to contact Council’s by phone or email, to discuss arrangements based on individual circumstances,” Cr Symon said.
Key capital projects include
- Develop and implement a COVID-19 community emergency relief referral process,
- Develop and implement a COVID-19 Recovery Plan (including social and economic recovery initiatives), following community consultation and engagement,
- Establish a regional cricket hub at the Jubilee Park sporting precinct,
- Undertake a strategic review of Maroondah Golf,
- Plan and implement the Dorset Recreation Reserve and Eastfield Park Enhancement Plans and undertake staged redevelopment works,
- Develop a Maroondah Liveability and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-2031 (incorporating the Municipal Public Health Plan),
- Undertake a strategic review of shopping centres in Maroondah and develop a Maroondah Community Shopping Centre Strategy,
- Design the Karralyka Centre redevelopment, and undertake staged redevelopment works,
- Implement the new Arts and Cultural Development Strategy 2020-2025,
- Work in partnership to implement the Reimagining Tarralla Creek project,
- Complete the tender and implement contracts for waste collection, landfill and the receipt and sorting of recyclables,
- Complete the Lincoln Road upgrade, east of Dorset Road in Croydon,
- Advocate for public transport improvements in the Bayswater Business Precinct,
- Design and construct multi-level carparks in Croydon, Ringwood, Heathmont and Heatherdale station.
- Undertake the renewal of New Street in Ringwood, including flood mitigation works, between Maroondah Highway and Sylvia Grove.
- Undertake improvement works of the carpark at McAlpin Reserve Ringwood North.
- Continue the upgrade of drainage, including flood mitigation works in Acacia Court catchment in Ringwood; Power Street catchment in Croydon North; and Scenic Avenue catchment in Ringwood East.
- Implement the Greening the Greyfields project in partnership with stakeholders to facilitate a sustainable approach to urban redevelopment in identified residential precincts.
- Develop a new Croydon Structure Plan (including urban design guidelines) and commence preparation of a planning scheme amendment to incorporate the policy into the Maroondah Planning Scheme.
- Undertake the staged redevelopment of the Croydon Community Precinct.
- Monitor the National Disability Insurance Scheme and My Aged Care reform agenda and implement transitional arrangements for relevant areas of Council service delivery.
- Develop a new Customer Service Strategy that will continue to advance Council’s commitment to be highly responsive and customer focused.
- Advocate on key local issues in the lead up to the Victorian and Australian Government elections in 2022.
- Implement the new Local Government Act 2020 following its enactment.
- Following the Council election prepare a new Council Plan 2021-2025.
View the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020/21 Update) and the Proposed Budget 2020/21
Copies of the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020/21 Update) and the Proposed Budget 2020/21 are available for inspection from Friday 19 June 2020 to Friday 17 July 2020. They can be viewed:
- City Offices Service Centre, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood between 8.30am and 5pm on Monday to Friday
- Croydon Library during normal opening hours.
Anyone who wants to make a written submission on the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020/21 Update) and/or the Proposed Budget 2020/21 must do so before 5pm, Friday 17 July 2020. If you wish to speak to your submission, you must indicate your intentions in your submission. All submissions will be considered in accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.
Submissions can be: