Kingston leads the way in diverting waste and keeping libraries up-to-date
Kingston had a year of highs and lows: excelling in many areas but some of our services were hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns and the Victorian recycling crisis, according to 2019-20 council performance results recently published on Know Your Council.
According to Mayor Steve Staikos, the Know Your Council results show that during 2019-20 Kingston Council has led the way when it comes to diverting waste from landfill, keeping our library content fresh and maintaining excellence in food safety standards at a low cost.
“Despite a run of challenges in the 2019-20 financial year including lockdowns due to COVID-19, Kingston Council again demonstrated our commitment to maintaining high-quality services for our community. The results show that we lead the way when it comes to keeping our library content up-to-date and making sure the local hospitality industry meets food health and safety standards, at half the average cost of most Victorian councils.”
“Kingston Council is also very efficient when it comes to planning applications. Whilst we take a little bit more time, it costs around $500 less than similar councils to assess each application.”
The City of Kingston has achieved stand-out results when it comes to diverting waste from landfill. “We have more than halved the amount of household waste we send to landfill, which is approximately nine percentage points higher than the state-wide council average,” said Cr Staikos. “This result is exciting: Kingston only recently introduced food organics kitchen caddies to allow this waste to be recycled along with garden organics in our green waste bins, we look forward to seeing this trend continue in future performance results.”
The City of Kingston is also on track to pay off all current debt by the middle of 2021, despite the additional costs the city incurred due to COVID-19 and the increased cost of delivering the recycling service. “This provides us with the flexibility to take on new projects such as a new leisure centre to replace Don Tatnell and to deliver major upgrades to the Kingston City Hall”.
“There’s no denying we’ve taken a hit financially during 2019-20. The closures in Victoria’s waste recycling industry reduced Council’s options for recycling waste collectors and COVID-19 lockdowns forced the closure of our city’s arts centres, libraries, aquatic centre and even our customer service desks for many months.”
“Despite all this, we recorded a modest surplus at the end of the financial year,” said Cr Staikos.
Council received an increase in requests for sealed local road improvements during 2019-20. “This was largely due to the flooding caused by very wet weather in summer and autumn; and the heavy vehicles used during the development of the Mordialloc freeway and the level crossing removal project (LXRP), which affected surfaces.”
The City of Kingston also achieved some fantastic results in 2019-20 which don’t translate into the annual performance measurements. “We favourably resolved a number of VCAT cases outside of hearings, which are not reflected as ‘wins’ in the performance results,” said Cr Staikos.
“Kingston Council also successfully returned a whopping 76 percent of lost pets to their owners; which has brought down the number recorded as being ‘rehomed’. We’re happy to continue with scoring lower here, if it means we reunite more pets with their owners.”
All residents are encouraged to see the full results at knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au