Getting on with business of delivering for our community

An extensive 23 June Ballarat City Council meeting agenda highlights Council is getting on with delivering positive outcomes for its community, according to CEO Evan King.

“This very full agenda shows we are getting on with the business of providing vital services to our ratepayers,” Mr King said.

“All of the items to be presented contain a wide range of vital projects that will actively stimulate Ballarat’s growth and prosperity into the future and which have been the subject of extensive consultation with our community.

“It includes a wide range of Integrated Strategic Planning Framework (ISPF) documents that have been mandated under the new Local Government Act 2020, including our 2021/22 Budget, our Revenue and Rating Plan, our Community Vision and our four-year Council Plan that sets out the high-level strategic goals Council wants to achieve in its term.

“Council will also be presented with an Events Strategy and a Visitor Economy Strategy that will be vital in encouraging tourism and major events post COVID-19, along with important strategic partnerships with both Sovereign Hill and the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute that will help foster excellent working relationships between the organisations.”

Items to be discussed at the 23 June meeting include:

• Draft Council Plan

– This high-level strategic document sets out Council’s priorities for its four year term and will include four individual plans that clearly demonstrates what Council wants to deliver to the community on an annual basis as well.

• Draft Community Vision

– This 10-year document outlines what the community considers are the top priorities for Ballarat up until 2031. It has been created by the community and for the community, involving a wide range of engagement processes, including listening posts, surveys and deliberative engagement involving a panel of residents debating Ballarat’s priorities.

• Draft Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan

– This 10-year document looks at how Council can best advocate and contribute to residents’ health and wellbeing

• 2021/22 Budget

– The budget has included extensive community consultation via the Ballarat: Our Future engagement process, and involves a significant capital investment level, while keeping rate increases at the State Government 1.5 per cent cap.

• Revenue and Rating Plan 2021-2025

– A review of Council’s revenue and rating policies has highlighted a need to gradually reduce commercial and industrial rates over the next four years to bring them in line with other regional centres.

• Events Strategy

– This strategy provides a clear roadmap for Ballarat’s event program development over the next eight years. It is a guiding document for the attraction, development, and delivery of events in Ballarat.

• Visitor Economy Strategy

– To complement the City of Ballarat’s Traveller Experience Plan, the three-year Visitor Economy Strategy 2021-2024 has been developed, outlining the immediate actions Council and industry stakeholders can take to support Ballarat’s visitor economy recovery post COVID-19.

• Strategic partnership with Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute

– This partnership would primarily support the arts, culture and heritage communities.

• Strategic partnership with Sovereign Hill

– While Sovereign Hill has a national and international brand, it remains important to the local Ballarat community for its significant employment and volunteering opportunities.

• Grants Policy 2021

– To strengthen both the Strategic Partnerships Program and the Tourism Events Grants Program.

• Welcoming Cities Network

– The global Welcoming Cities Network supports local governments to advance communities where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life.

• Ballarat: Our Future Community Engagement Report

– Ballarat: Our Future was the community engagement process undertaken by Council between February and May 2021 to inform the Community Vision, Council Plan, Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, Budget, and Financial Plan.

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