This week Nillumbik Shire Council approved the a rate increase of just 1.95 per cent in the 2018/19 budget, 0.3 per cent less than the official rates cap set by the State Government.
Last year Nillumbik was the only council in Victoria to keep rates on hold with a zero increase – the lowest increase in Victoria.
Mayor Peter Clarke said the Council was committed to easing the burden on ratepayers and keeping rates increases below the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
“Despite this minimal increase we are continuing to put money into key sports and leisure projects which we will continue to deliver on until they are completed,” Cr Clarke said.
In a move to simplify rates and make them more transparent, council has abolished the $95.84 municipal charge and incorporated it into the general rates.
Unlike many other municipalities, Council is not increasing its waste charges.
“Council has made up ground in reducing the debt it inherited from the previous Council and will have paid off over $2 million worth of debt by the middle of next year,” Cr Clarke said.
Council has increased its budget for service delivery. This includes a $115,000 increase in funding to libraries and $184,000 increase for Arts and Cultural services.
Council’s four-year Arts and Cultural blueprint (2018–2022) aims to transform arts into a viable industry that will create jobs and increase tourism in the Green Wedge Shire.
Key projects from the 2018/19 Budget include:
- Diamond Creek netball pavilion $3.086 million
- Eltham central oval pavilion upgrade $1.765 million
- Redevelopment of the Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre $2 million
- Hurstbridge rail overpass $1.726 million
- Former Plenty landfill site rehabilitation works $1.633 million
- Marngrook Oval pavilion $1.583 million
- Diamond Creek trail extension $1.5 million for acquisition of land
- Eltham North Reserve Pavilion upgrade $830,000
- Research park pavilion redevelopment $825,000
Residents and businesses were given the opportunity to have their say on the Council’s online engagement portal.