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The Budget forms an integral part of our overall strategic planning framework and outlines the financial and non-financial resources required to implement the directions that have been established in the our Council Plan 2021-25.

2022-23 Annual Budget

The 2022-23 Annual Budget was adopted at the Council Meeting held on Wednesday, 15 June 2022.

This budget continues the strong investment in capital works projects with a program of $29 million, including:

  • $5 million for the final stage of Cowes Cultural and Community Centre Redevelopment and associated Public Realm Improvements.
  • $1.6 million for Grantville Landfill Micro Turbines
  • $3 million for Wonthaggi Activity Centre Plan priorities
  • $1.8 million for Shetland Heights/Potters Hill Roads, Drainage and Footpaths

Also included in the Budget is $12.5 million for new leisure and recreation facilities, $14.4 million to maintain and improve Bass Coast’s road and pathways network, $18.8 million on waste services and $12.1 million to upgrade community facilities.

The Proposed Budget was made available for public comment following the April Council Meeting and five submissions were received. Of those, two were heard in person.

In response to the submissions received from the community and additional information that has been provided since the release of the draft Budget, there were a number of changes to the final 2022-23 Annual Budget.

These changes include the allocation of funding towards:

  • Rhyll Playground - $270,000
  • ‘For Our Future’ Arts Collaboration - $50,000
  • Blue Gum Community Garden - $278,000
  • Refurbishment of the former CFA Building in Cowes - $185,000
  • Cowes Recreation masterplan - $80,000
  • Corinella Bowls Club disability access toilet design - $30,000
  • Crown Land Strategic Review - $30,000

The Annual Budget supports the delivery of over 100 services to the community and Council’s ongoing commitment to providing accessible, affordable and sustainable services for all Bass Coast communities.

Long Term Financial Plan

Securing Bass Coast's Future

Our Long Term Financial Plan 2021-31 provides guidance for the current and future Councils' long term financial decision making and replaces our previous Long Term Financial Plan 2015-25.

The Plan is reviewed every year, taking into account all other plans and strategies which commit financial and non-financial resources, which is then reflected in the Strategic Resource Plan in each year's Budget.

Previous Budgets

Annual Budget 2021/22

The submission period closed at 5.00pm on Thursday, 20 May 2021 and submissions were considered by Council on Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

All Submitters were offered a five minute allocation to speak to their submissions at a virtual Council Briefing on Wednesday, 26 May 2021. Eight submissions were heard at this briefing, which is available to view below.

The Final Budget 2021/22 was adopted at the Council Meeting on Wednesday, 16 June.

Annual Budget 2020/21

Council’s expenditure included over $2.8 million in economic stimulus and fee relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This $2.8 million package followed the $965,000 provided to the community within the 2019/20 forecast. Highlights of this package included:

  • Freeze on fees and charges - $350,000
  • Full year waiver of business signage, footpath trading and liquor licences - $30,000
  • Three months’ rent relief to Council lessees - $200,000
  • Business and Event recovery support - $40,000
  • Affordable Housing Initiative - $130,000
  • Fast tracking a number of strategic initiatives and capital works in order to stimulate the local economy.

New funding was been provided in the operating budget for the following strategic plans, minor projects and major precincts:

  • Bass Coast Dinosaur Trail Masterplan - $250,000
  • Public Realm Improvement plans, Cowes - $250,000
  • GAP Road feasibility assessment and plan - $100,000
  • Strategic Positioning of Wonthaggi to support its growth - $40,000
  • Wonthaggi Secondary College Senior Campus Structure Plan - $100,000
  • Wonthaggi North East Precinct structure plan - $150,000
  • Rhyll Jetty Activity Area precinct plan - $30,000

Our investment in capital projects continued to be a priority with a program of $28 million. This program included:

  • Land purchases and associated building works - $10.93 million
  • The replacement of plant, fleet and equipment - $2.34 million
  • Infrastructure works such as pathways, roads, drainage, open space and recreation facilities - $6.4 million

More specifically, the capital budget included:

  • Aquatics planning and design- $3.08 million
  • Cowes Cultural and Community Centre Redevelopment - $4 million (being
    the initial funding for a $19 million project)
  • Wonthaggi Guide Park - $1.15 million
  • Phillip Island Transfer Station- $250,000
  • Climate Change Actions - $500,000
  • Anderson Road Boat Ramp East Carpark Upgrade, Cowes - $380,000
  • Dalyston Netball Court and Toilet Pavilion Upgrade - $500,000

The 2020/21 Budget continued to support our agricultural community with a rating differential of 80 per cent plus the opportunity to apply for the Rural Land Management Program, which returned approximately $634,000 in environmental value to the rural community. A formal review of Council’s Rating Strategy was initiated during 2019/20. This review was discontinued as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Annual Budget 2019/20

Our 2019/20 Annual Budget was adopted at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 19 June.

This Budget supported the objectives of the Council Plan and continues to reflect extensive community engagement to ‘Help Shape a Better Bass Coast’.

It projected an operating surplus of $2.6 million and builds on the recent trend of increasing funding for capital and operational projects.

The Budget positioned the organisation to respond to the impact of growth and development within the Shire and plan for the delivery of major projects. This is achieved by continually seeking operational efficiencies and through the prudent use of borrowings and existing reserves.

The Budget remained aligned with Council’s Long Term Financial Plan and focusses on maintaining and upgrading existing assets.

The $85 million Budget proposed a $21.1 million Capital Works Program including major, minor and renewal projects such as:

  • $1.8 million for progressing the Phillip Island Transfer Station which includes funding for the acquisition of a suitable site and detailed design of the community facility, which is expected to be completed in the next three years;
  • $1.5 million for the upgrade of the Phillip Island Community Adult Learning Centre (PICAL);
  • $1.5 million for the path extension for Surf Parade, Inverloch;
  • $1.5 million for the Bass Coast Regional Skate Park;
  • $900,000 for Inverloch Netball courts and $700,000 for the renewal of Dalyston Netball courts;
  • $2.9 million for a number of major tennis court renewals and upgrades in Wonthaggi, Inverloch and Corinella;
  • $1 million for a number of urban roads renewal projects, including spray seals, pavement renewal, asphalt seals and kerb renewal;
  • $1.1 million for the renewal and upgrade of Sheepways Road South; and
  • $500,000 for drainage renewal projects including $215,000 for rain garden and wetland renewal.

Proposed increases in Council’s day-to-day operational costs have been contained to two per cent compared to the 2018/19 Budget.

The comparison has excluded ‘one-off’ contributions made by Council to the Wonthaggi Highball Facility and Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club in 2018/19 which inflated Council’s operating expenditure.

The annual garbage charge increases by $37 or 8.9 per cent to $449. This increase was driven by the need to recover the compaction levy of $1 million, which has had a significant impact on Council’s garbage collection and processing costs.

Our agricultural community continues to be supported with a proposed rating differential of 80 per cent, as well as the opportunity to apply for the Rural Land Management Program which is proposed to cost $616,000 in 2019/20. This represents a further effective discount in the order of 20 per cent on farm rates.

Council’s total full time equivalent (FTE) staffing proposes to decrease from 333 to 324 in 2019/20. This reflects the planned cessation of Council provided aged and disability services in December 2019 and the transition of these services to alternative providers in the region. The Budget also provides for additional resources to improve the customer experience of Development Services and adopt a strategic approach to major projects and major precincts.

Annual Budget 2018/19

Council adopted the 2018/19 Budget (2.7MB) at its Ordinary Meeting on Wednesday, 20 June 2018.

The Budget supports the objectives of the Council Plan and continues to reflect last year’s extensive community engagement to ‘Help shape a better Bass Coast’.

Submissions to this year's draft Budget were also considered at the Council Meeting on 20 June 2018.

Council adopted the Budget 2018-2019 with the following changes.

  • The deferral of works on the Surf Parade Shared Pathway in Inverloch to allow for further engagement with stakeholders with a view to a refined design. The project is now expected to commence construction in the 2019-2020 financial year. To progress the project in the meantime, an additional amount of $160,000 has been included in the 2018-2019 Budget to undertake the community engagement and design works.
  • To assist with the initial establishment of the YES Youth Hub Bass Coast, an additional $20,000 has been allocated to the Social and Community Planning services budget, bringing the total allocation for the YES Youth Hub to $40,000.
  • The inclusion of an allocation of $25,000 for a feasibility study into a pathway between Rose Avenue and Coghlan Road on Phillip Island.
  • An additional $200,000 has been allocated towards the High Ball Stadium development at the Wonthaggi Senior Campus. This change has occurred as a result of the final contracts being determined for the construction of the Senior Campus and is Council’s additional contribution.
  • As an outcome of changes in State Government controlled fees and growth in development, there is approximately an extra $100,000 in statutory fees and charges.
  • A reduction in the level of borrowings due to Council not proceeding with the office development at the Cowes Cultural Centre.
  • Whilst already incorporated in the draft budget, consultation highlighted that there was a need to clarify that the budget included an additional day of operation for the Cowes Library and provided for $50,000 in funding for the Phillip Island entrance planning and design.

Council adopted their four year Council Plan and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-2021 (7.7MB) in 2017 following a thorough and extensive community engagement process over several months.

You may also be interested in these supporting documents.

Annual Budget 2018/19 Key Projects and Highlights

Key Projects and Highlights

The Budget remains aligned with Council’s Long Term Financial Plan and focusses on maintaining and upgrading existing assets.

The $99 million Budget features a $19.63 million Capital Works Program, including major, minor and renewal projects such as:

  • Supporting the Wonthaggi Shared Highball facility and the second year contribution for Cape Paterson Life Saving Club replacement
  • Ongoing development of skate parks across the municipality with replacement of the Cowes Skate Park and design for a Regional Skate Park on Phillip Island
  • Acquisition of land for future recreation needs in Cowes
  • Further development of the Cowes Transit Centre and all day car park
  • Construction of the Pioneer Bay roads and drainage upgrade scheme
  • Planning for an upgrade to the car park at Anderson Road Boat Ramp, Cowes
  • Master Plan works for the Beachcomber YCW activity area
  • Design of Olive Justice Park, Cowes
  • Upgrade of lighting at the Inverloch Tennis Club
  • Works and signage for the Corinella Boat Ramp car park
  • A contribution to the Inverloch Soundshell
  • Refurbishment of the netball courts at Cowes, Bass and Dalyston
  • Replacement of the pavilion at Dalyston Recreation Reserve
  • Replacement of the air conditioning at the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre
  • Refurbishment of the Phillip Island Football Club rooms
  • Rehabilitation of Loch-Wonthaggi Road, Krowera
  • Rehabilitation of Ventnor Beach Road, Ventnor
  • Renewal of Bourne Creek (Kilcunda) Trestle Bridge
  • We continue to be low rating and low spending
  • Average General Rate increase of 2.25%, in line with the State Government’s Rate Cap
  • Rural Land Management Program funded to approx. $600,000 to support our rural community
Annual Budget 2017/18

Council adopted the Annual Budget 2017/18 (PDF 2.7MB) on 21 June 2017.

A copy of Council Services Fees and Charges 2017/18 (PDF 261KB) is also available to download.

Key Projects

Our investment in capital works continues to be a priority with funding of $18.618 million

  • New floodlighting for two soccer pitches at Newhaven Recreation Reserve
  • Redevelopment of change rooms at Dalyston Recreation Reserve
  • Development of the Cowes Transit Hub to coincide with the Jetty Triangle project
  • Extension of Surf Parade shared path to Veronica St, Inverloch
  • Refurbishment of Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre
  • Construction of a new landfill cell at Grantville Landfill
  • Bass Coast Rail Trail Bourne Creek Pedestrian Bridge Renewal
  • Resurfacing of Netball Courts at Dalyston Recreation Reserve
  • Replacement of footpath on Anchorage Rd, Ventnor between Ventnor Road and Pall Mall
  • Nyora St Helier Road Upgrade – Nation Building Blackspot Program
  • Kerb Renewal – Jenner Avenue, Cowes
  • Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve Gymnasium Building Renewal Works
  • South Dudley Road Upgrade – Nation Building Blackspot Program
  • Phillip Island Nature Parks commercial office development
  • Pioneer Bay Drainage Improvements
  • Detailed design of Cowes Cultural and Community Centre


  • Operating surplus of $3.91 million (underlying surplus of $1.496 million)
  • We continue to be low rating and low spending
  • Average General Rate increase of 2%, in line with the State Government’s Rate Cap
  • Community Facilities Funding. Including the proposed Wonthaggi Shared Highball Facility – Council contribution of $1.5 million, and Cape Paterson Surf Lifesaving Club – Council contribution (over two years) of $600,000
  • Employee Cost increases have been contained to 2.15% from 2016/17 budget
  • Continued operation of Inverloch Transfer Station
  • Rural Land Management Program funded to approx. $600,000 to support our rural community
  • Ongoing commitment to developing Skate Parks
  • Land Contribution towards a medical facility on Phillip Island
  • Commence engagement with the community of how we spend $2 million on open space in 2018/2019

Submissions to Draft Budget

Council accepted 23 submissions on changes to the draft 2017/18 Council Budget until 30 May. A total of 10 submitters chose to speak to their submission before Council at a hearing on Wednesday, 7 June.

Under the provisions of Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989, any person may make a written submission on any proposal contained in the draft Council Plan and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-21 and/or draft Annual Budget 2017/18.

Any person lodging a submission may request to be heard in person in support of their submission. Submissions may be made available to the public. Submissions must be received by 5.00pm on Tuesday 30 May 2017 and be addressed to The Chief Executive Officer, Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118, Wonthaggi VIC 3995.

Submissions will be heard and considered by Council at a Special Meeting at 4.30pm on Wednesday, 7 June 2017. This Meeting will be open to the public. The Council Plan and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2017-21 and Annual Budget 2017/18 will be formally presented at the Wednesday, 21 June Ordinary Meeting for adoption, along with the outcome of any submissions.

Community sessions to discuss the draft budget:

Interested community members were able to attend any of the below information sessions to learn more about the proposed 2017/18 Council Budget.

  • Cowes - Monday, 15 May from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at Cowes Cultural Centre Hall, 91-97 Thompson Ave, Cowes
  • Grantville - Tuesday, 16 May from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at Grantville Hall, 1470 Bass Hwy
  • Inverloch - Monday, 22 May from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at Inverloch Community Hub, 16 A'Beckett St
  • Online - Tuesday, 23 May from 6.30pm to 7.30pm online at - look for the Council Plan and Budget Q&A post