Investing in community priorities and supporting Knox’s continued recovery are key focuses of the 2021-22 Annual Budget, adopted by Knox City Council.
Incorporating feedback from the community, the budget identifies key priorities for the coming year, including building and maintaining community infrastructure, expanding kindergarten services, responding to climate change and supporting health and wellbeing.
Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper said the budget recognises the unique circumstances impacting Council and the wider Knox community at this time.
“It was important to us to produce a forward-looking budget that invests in growing and strengthening Knox while recognising the continued challenges many in our community still face,” said Cr Cooper.
“This includes highlighting areas of wellbeing, infrastructure and the environment that we know are great passions of our community.
“We’re also investing in the broad range of services our community expects of Council, to meet the diverse needs of the people of Knox. These range from early years programs, support for older residents, and providing services for the vulnerable members of our community, through to urban planning and critical infrastructure delivery.”
Recognising the need for urgent and decisive action on climate change, the budget includes funding to implement the Climate Response Plan, including converting public lighting to energy-efficient LED lights and expanding Council’s electric vehicle fleet.
The budget also invests in key areas of health and wellbeing that have been heightened as a result of the pandemic. These include a financial literacy program for women to support financial independence and prevention of family violence, as well as a Mental Health Action Plan to address challenges identified by the community such as depression and anxiety, social isolation, and substance abuse.
Public and community facilities play an important role in providing space for the community to gather and connect through shared interests, activities and cultures. Building and maintaining these facilities also provides a valuable opportunity to boost local construction and employment opportunities.
Investment in community facilities will increase to $127.98 million. Highlights of the capital works program include:
$23.9 million to improve parks, reserves and community facilities, including:
- $8.3 million on Knox Regional Netball Centre;
- $3.2 million in playground upgrades and renewals;
- $9.8 million to renew ovals, tennis courts, cricket nets and other recreation facilities; and
- $1.1 million on lighting upgrades at Knox Park Athletics Centre, Kings Park, Lewis Park and Templeton Reserve
$15.4 million to improve and expand community buildings, including $4.8 million on Fairpark Reserve pavilion; and
$18.1 million on roads, footpaths, drainage and other civil infrastructure.
The budget includes a 1.5% rate increase balancing the financial pressures facing our community with the need for continued investment in community services, infrastructure and reinvigorating the local economy.
For an average Knox household, this equates to an additional $28 a year or $2.30 a month, and allows us to deliver on the services and programs our community expects as well as supporting those most in need.
Council’s Garbage Charge will increase by $25 (10.8%) in line with projected cost increases. This amount has been set to ensure only full cost recovery inclusive of the State Government Landfill Levy.
More information about the budget can be viewed on our budget page.