"The Councillors and I are pleased to release to the Community the Budget 2018/19. This budget builds on our Council Plan 2018/22 vision which focuses on the following five key areas:
Roads and Townships
Relationships and Advocacy
Community Connection and Wellbeing
Financially Sustainable, High Performing Organisation
Development and Environment
The Council Plan 2018/22 sets out our strategic plan to deliver our vision over the full term of the Council. As this is the second year of the current Council term, the focus over the next year will be on consolidating our work on the commitments in our four year plan.
The budget details the resources required over the next year to fund the large range of services we provide for our community. It also includes details of proposed capital expenditure allocations to improve and renew our Shire’s physical infrastructure, buildings and operational assets as well as funding proposals for a range of operating projects.
As Councillors, it is our job to listen to community sentiment and understand your priorities. Since we started our term in 2016, we have consistently heard that Council’s services are valued by the community, and that Council also needs to be financially responsible and keep its rates as low as possible. In response, Council has initiated an enterprise wide approach to identify areas where services can be adjusted to better meet local needs, in order to provide increased value for money to ratepayers.
The Budget for 2018/19 has been prepared by Councillors and Council officers. As part of the budget process the community was invited to community workshops held in Waubra and Raglan. Council also undertook an online engagement process using OurSay. The community was asked to complete a survey on priority services and indicate where they would invest an additional $50,000 if it was available.
The budget includes a rate increase of 3.50%, which is 1.25% above the maximum rate increase allowed under the rate cap set by the Minister for Local Government under the Fair Go Rates System. Of the 3.5% rate increase 1.5% of rate revenue has been quarantined specifically for capital expenditure on renewing Council's road infrastructure assets. In order to balance the remainder of the budget, Council has continued to pursue operational savings and efficiencies which has enabled it to deliver high quality, responsive and accessible services to the community.
Budgeted Capital Works expenditure will decrease from $7.162 million in 2017/18 to $5.585 million in 2018/19, predominantly as a result of a reduction in capital grant income of $2.51 million. The Capital Works Program will be funded by $1.103 million of external grants, $710,000 from asset sales and the balance of $3.772 million from Council rates. It is pleasing to note that ratepayer funded capital expenditure has increased by $784,000.
Highlights of the Capital Works Program include:
Gravel Road Resheets $1.014 million, an increase of $240,000 or 31.1%
Reseals at various locations $853,000
Raglan-Elmhurst Road 1.5km Reconstruction $450,000
Moonambel-Natte Yallock Road 2km Reconstruction $450,000
Additional Dust Suppression Graded Aggregate Total Treatment (GATT) Seals $22,000
Drainage Project 2018-19 $50,000
Solar Lighting of Township Entrances $10,000
Expenditure on the following project included in the Capital Works Program will be recouped in future budget periods as the land is sold:
Council's waste management service is fully funded by waste service and user charges. The Landsborough transfer station is currently uncontrolled and people from anywhere are able to deposit waste of all types there without charge. In order to improve the level of service for waste management at Landsborough, Council will actively manage the Landsborough transfer station in the same way it manages other transfer stations across the Shire. Waste service charges will increase on average by 9.2% in order to meet the increased costs of actively managing the Landsborough transfer station and the additional cost associated in managing recyclables that has arisen as a result of China's ban on the importation of waste materials from countries such as Australia.
Our focus for the next year is to continue to deliver on the projects and services that make our Shire a great place to live, work and invest in, and respond to the challenges we are currently facing. These challenges include:
Whilst Council has obtained approval for a rate increase that is 1.25% above the 2.25% rate cap, the actual rate increases experienced by individual ratepayers will be different due to this being a municipal revaluation year. In a revaluation year, rate increases are impacted by the average rate increase (3.50%) and the property valuation increases of individual properties relative to the average valuation increase of 25.1% across the municipality. If your property value increased by more than the 25.1% average property value increase for the Shire, then your rates will increase by more than 3.50%. However, if your property value increased by less than the 25.1% average property value increase for the Shire, your rates will increase by less than 3.50% and may in fact reduce from the previous year."
Cr David Clarke Jim Nolan
Mayor Chief Executive Officer
Download Council's Budget here: Council Budget 2018/19.pdf(PDF, 197KB)