Investment in community infrastructure key to Council’s 2021/22 budget

Council Budget 2021-22_FB.jpg

Council has set a clear strategic direction for the year ahead with the adoption of its Annual Budget and key documents to deliver quality infrastructure and services to the community through existing programs, new initiatives and capital works.

The suite of key documents adopted at last night’s Council meeting include:

  • Annual Budget 2021/22
  • Long Term Infrastructure Plan 2021/22-2030/31
  • Rating and Revenue Plan 2021/22

Together, these documents map the direction for Council activities in the coming year – one that is in line with community demand. $854,000 of new projects and initiatives have been included in the Annual Budget following consideration to the 155 community submissions received during the consultation period.

The 2021/22 Annual Budget represents income of $111.3 million, expenditure of $90.6 million. This reflects a financially sustainable position and is a sound measure of Council’s ability to achieve service delivery objectives.

Infrastructure highlights – $38.7 million

Council continues to make a major investment in infrastructure totalling $38.7 million (plus projects carried forward from last financial year) comprising of the following key highlights:

  • Roads
    • $1.5 million for gravel road re-sheets.
    • $1.2 million for over 170,000 square metres of roads resealed.
    • $2 million for the reconstruction of Weerong Road, Drouin – Wellwood Road to Longwarry Road – Stage 1 and Montague Road, Drouin – Main South Road to Parkview Road.
    • $1.5 million for over 20,000 square metres of road repairs.
    • Over 650 metres of kerb and channel replaced.
    • Extensive line marking, guardrail and signage replacement.
    • $550,000 to sealing and upgrade of Yulungah Road, Trafalgar (between Hillbricks Road and the start of seal).
    • $1.1 million for the final stage of the Warragul CBD streetscape works, with the upgrade of Queen Street between Gladstone Street and Victoria Street.
    • $1.95 for intersection safety improvements for Lardners Track/Lardner Road/Danes Road, Warragul and Sand Road/Princes Way, Longwarry North (subject to a successful grant application).
    • The planting of approximately 600 advanced street trees.
  • Recreation and open spaces
    • $6 million to commence construction of two additional basketball courts at the Warragul Leisure Centre.
    • $2 million to commence construction of a multi-use pavilion at Bellbird Park, Drouin.
    • $1.7 million to complete the construction of the multi-use pavilion at Trafalgar Recreation Reserve, Trafalgar.
    • $1.5 million of strategic land purchases in Drouin and Warragul.
    • $200,000 for sports lighting upgrades at the Hallora Recreation Reserve (subject to a successful grant application.)
    • $575,000 towards the implementation of masterplans at Bellbird Park, Drouin and Brooker Park, Warragul.
    • 200,000 for sports and playground equipment including skate and BMX, as well as open space furniture replacement.
    • $100,000 towards the Hallora Recreation Reserve goals as well as the cross-country course equipment at the Lardner Equestrian Centre.
    • $125,000 to progress a feasibility study for the Logan Park Cycling Centre of Excellence project.
    • $180,000 towards the Placemaking Program across three smaller townships.
    • $100,000 towards public artwork.
  • Paths
    • $1.53 million on approximately 3.5 kilometres of new footpaths across the Shire as part of the Accelerated footpath Program.
    • $500,000 on gravel and sealed path replacements, trip hazard rectifications, upgrades to meet Disability Discrimination Act compliance and pram ramp replacements.
    • $2.25 million to finalise the proposal for the Rokeby to Noojee Trail project and seek external funding support to begin the project.
  • Future designs and investigations
    • Detailed design of two key road reconstructions in Trafalgar and Drouin.
    • Designs to support external funding applications.
  • Buildings
    • $1.7 million on community facility renewals including roof works, flooring works, cladding replacements, accessibility improvements, heating and cooling upgrades as well as asbestos removal.
    • $300,000 on replacement of the Burke Street public toilets in Warragul, as well as minor refurbishments of public toilets Shire-wide.
    • $330,000 on waste system upgrades to better manage street sweeper waste material.
  • Drainage
    • $845,000 towards drainage upgrades on Copelands Road, Warragul.
    • $450,000 on open drain cleaning and roadside works.
    • $400,000 on pit, pipe and culvert replacements.
    • $100,000 on dam safety and wetland establishment works.
  • Bridges and major culverts
    • $990,000 towards the completion of the Roberts Road Bridge in Yarragon as well as three major culvert rehabilitations.

Operating expenses will increase by 3.4 per cent primarily due to employee expenses and new strategic initiatives such as a roads advocacy campaign, a feasibility study for Council’s depot, and Environmental Sustainability Strategy and additional funds for maintenance of local halls.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss:

“The 2021/22 Annual Budget will invest $38.7 million towards important infrastructure projects to support our growing communities while delivering over 100 important services, from waste management and open space maintenance to maternal child health care and library services.

“I would especially like to thank the significant number of community members who took the time to make a submission and let us know what your priorities are. As a result of your feedback, Council has allocated $854,000 towards new projects in the budget and will continue to look for opportunities to include key projects in future planning. Community submissions are valued by Council, and we are committed to listening and making changes when we can.

“Since the release of the Draft Annual Budget, Council has received $8 million in funding from the Victorian Government for the Warragul Leisure Centre Stadium Project and the Bellbird Park Multi-use Pavilion. This is a step in the right direction, and we’ll continue to advocate strongly to both the State and Federal Government for continued support to deliver the projects that our community desperately needs.”

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