Council last night endorsed its draft 2022/23 budget which is now open for community feedback.
Mayor Chrissy Weller said the budget outlines the proposed revenue, expenditure and resources required to provide Council’s 100 plus services, to maintain community facilities, and to deliver projects for the benefit of the community.
“The draft budget aims to balance the many, and often competing, needs of the Campaspe community,” Cr Weller said.
“Now we are asking the community to tell us whether we’ve got the balance right.”
The $84.70 million budget has been developed in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System, with rate revenue capped at 1.75 per cent, supporting a $36.61 million capital works program.
“Rate income accounts for about half of Council’s revenue stream (at 52 per cent) and allows Council to maintain services,” Cr Weller said.
“Waste charges account for 7 per cent of our revenue, funding the collection of kerbside bins and paying the Victorian Government’s landfill levy, along with operation of transfer stations, monitoring of former landfill and collection of street litter bins.”
Other revenue streams include grant programs (20 per cent), user fees (18 per cent), statutory fees and fines (2 per cent) and interest from investments (1 per cent).
“In developing the budget, Council also considered the 38 ‘pre-budget’ proposals from the community that were invited to be submitted in December,” the Mayor added.
“A number of proposals identified improved footpaths. Council has allocated $780,000 to the footpath replacement program across the shire and a further project will review outcomes from the Active Transport Strategy, customer service requests and pre-budget proposals to prioritise future projects for funding.”
The budget links to the foundations of the Council Plan, a four-year plan setting the strategic direction for Council, in the key theme areas of flourishing local economy, protected and healthy natural environment, well planned places, and growing quality of life.
The budget details a range of new initiatives to be completed across the year, linking directly back to the Council Plan.
“A key focus will be the deliberative engagement program to inform the review of aquatic services and work with communities to develop Place Based Plans and Township Facility Plans,” Cr Weller said.
“Funds have also been allocated to establish a Youth Council.”
Capital Works Program
Improvements have been made to the Capital Works Program and how they are budgeted. Most projects include a budget for the design component in year one, with construction in year two. For some larger projects, construction is budgeted across a number of years.
The $36.61 million program includes projects that are supported by a total of $14.80 million of external grant funding. Two key projects, the Echuca Aerodrome upgrades and the Aquatic Reserve upgrades, have not been funded to date, and stage 1 and 2 works for the Echuca boat ramp has been funded, with a funding application not confirmed for stage 3.
The Capital Works Program, detailing 52 projects, includes the following examples:
Roads $13.79 million
$4,292,000 Gravel resheeting of local roads
$1,350,000 Resealing of local roads
$1,000,000 Resheeting gravel road shoulders of sealed local roads
$573,000 Rochester McColl Road, road construction between Northern Highway and Restdown Road
$141,500 Construction of internal road in Rushworth Lions Park
Open spaces & recreation $1.51 million
$60,000 Kyabram Northern Oval, upgrading amenities block
$750,000 Kyabram Recreation Reserve, construction of new netball court and associated lighting
$600,000 Lockington Recreation Reserve, upgrade of two multi-purpose courts to meet competition requirements
$40,000 Echuca Apex Park, replacement of BBQ shelter
Public buildings $5.47 million
$408,505 Campaspe Animal Shelter, replacement of dog and cat areas
$150,000 Resource Recovery Centres, improvements to skip loading bays Colbinabbin, Lockington and Toolleen centres
$450,000 Solar program community buildings, installation of solar on community buildings
$849,404 Rushworth Service Centre, refurbishment of building to improve access, open and light library and customer service with community meeting space and amenities
$200,000 Echuca Victoria Park, construction of changerooms
Footpaths & cycleways $3.03 million
$2,245,590 Rushworth Murchison Rail Trail, extension of trail between Rushworth and Murchison
$780,000 Footpath replacement program for multiple sections across the shire
Bridges $2.70 million
$500,000 Gunbower Thompsons Bridge, refurbishment of the bridge deck and barriers
$880,128 Echuca Boat Ramp, stage 1 and 2, upgrades to the boat ramp and adjoining retaining walls
Stormwater & flood control $495,000
$125,000 Colbinabbin Gamble Court, flood pump works
$150,000 Echuca Mt Terrick Road, flood pump works
$220,000 Rural drainage culverts, pits and pipes replacement program
Community Feedback Invited
“Preparation of the annual budget is one of Council’s most important strategic responsibilities. I encourage members of the community to review the proposed 2022-2023 budget and provide any feedback they would like Council to consider prior to formal adoption of the budget in mid June,” Cr Weller added.
The key dates for the budget submission, consideration and adoption process are as follows:
- Wednesday, 20 April – draft budget released for public comment
- Friday, 20 May, 5pm – public submissions close. All submissions must be in writing.
- Wednesday, 1 June, 6pm – hearing of submissions.
- Wednesday, 15 June, 6pm – Council meeting to consider adoption of budget.