Council seeks community feedback on Draft 2019/20 Budget
Bass Coast Shire Council has released its Draft 2019/20 Budget and draft revised Council Plan 2017-21 for community feedback.
The Draft Budget supports the objectives of the Council Plan and continues to reflect Council's extensive community engagement to 'Help Shape a Better Bass Coast'.
The draft revised Council Plan includes updated measures and targets to reflect the progress made during the current Council term.
The Draft Budget projects an operating surplus of $2.6 million. It builds on the recent trend of increasing funding for capital and operational projects. The Budget positions the organisation to respond to the impact of growth and development within the Shire and plan for the delivery of major projects.
The $85 million Draft Budget remains aligned with Council's Long Term Financial Plan and focusses on maintaining and upgrading existing assets. Proposed is 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 Surf Parade shared path extension, 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.
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 proposed annual garbage charge has increased 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 expected 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 has decreased 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 Draft 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.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said he is delighted the Draft Budget is focused on addressing the impact of population and development growth and a strategic place management approach while continuing to deliver the themes of the Council Plan.
"I strongly encourage our community to provide us with their feedback, and help us deliver an efficient and financially responsible budget for the next 12 months," Cr Tessari said.
"We are committed to maintaining services and our infrastructure, while delivering projects that are valued by our community, all within the rate cap of 2.5 per cent as set by the State Government."
Making a submission
The Draft Budget and updated draft revisions to the measures for the Council Plan 2017-21 can be viewed at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/budget or at Council's Customer Service Centres in Wonthaggi, Cowes, Inverloch and Grantville.
Community Information Sessions will be held in:
- Wonthaggi - Tuesday, 30 April at Old Wonthaggi Post Office, Corner Watt Street and McBride Avenue from 6.00pm to 7.30pm
- Facebook - Wednesday, 1 May at www.facebook.com/basscoastshire from 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Submissions to the Draft Budget and updated draft revisions to the measures for the Council Plan 2017-21 can also be made in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118, Wonthaggi, 3995.
If you wish to speak to your submission, you must advise Council within your email or letter. The consultation period will close at 5.00pm on Wednesday, 22 May 2019 and submissions will be heard from 5.00pm on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 at a Special Meeting of Council.
The Final 2019/20 Budget and updated measures for the Council Plan 2017-21 will be presented at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 June for adoption, along with the outcomes of any submissions.