Murrindindi Shire Council is pleased to present its draft Annual Budget for 2021/2022 for community feedback after it was endorsed for public exhibition at Council’s Scheduled Meeting on Wednesday 28 April.
Council’s Mayor Sandice McAulay said this budget is this Council’s first, following the October 2020 election where Councillors were elected to serve the community of Murrindindi Shire for a four year term.
‘It appears we have weathered the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic in Victoria. As your newly-elected Council, our focus is now twofold – to assist community recovery, post-pandemic and to create a budget that will help us to deliver the vision we are developing jointly with our community for our four year term.
‘This Budget is being developed in parallel with the ‘Shaping Our Future’ project, which is designed to elicit community ideas and opinions about what is important for our community over the next four years. This Project will inform our new Council Plan, including a vision which will guide Council’s work over the next four years.
‘I’d encourage you to take a look at our draft budget to see what we are proposing.
We are pleased to have been successful in attracting over $3.8 million in capital grant funding to contribute to important infrastructure projects. This grant funding, together with Council’s contribution, will enable us to roll out almost $15 million in capital works right across the Shire.
‘We are allocating $80,000 to development of programs which relate to the environment and mitigating the effects of climate change. We know the community will contribute some great ideas about the environment through the ‘Shaping Our Future’ community engagement process, and allocation of funds in this budget means we will be in a position to implement those quickly.
‘We are also allocating resources to collaboratively develop a Reconciliation Action Plan so we can better recognise and celebrate the traditional owners of our land. We believe this is an important and overdue step in formalising our commitment to working in partnership with the Taungurung.
‘While we want this budget to complement the vision that the community has for the future of Murrindindi Shire, it’s important to understand that rates remain an important revenue source for Council.
‘Unlike larger or metropolitan councils, as a small rural council, we remain largely dependent on rates revenue, as well as grant funding. Costs for the wide range of services we provide for the community continue to rise.
‘We understand rates can have an impact, both on individuals and businesses and last year Council delivered a budget with no rate rise. Next financial year rates will rise, but only by 1.5%, which is consistent with the Victorian Government’s rate cap. We have also reinstated the 25% rate premium on commercial/industrial properties which Council temporarily suspended last year during the pandemic.