HomeNewsMurrindindi releases draft 2017-18 budget

Murrindindi releases draft 2017-18 budget

Murrindindi Shire officially releases its Draft Budget 2018/19 at a special council meeting on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Shire CEO Craig Lloyd said today in creating the draft budget that council was focusing resources on delivering the commitment it made to the community in the Council Plan 2017-2021.

“The Council Plan sets out the strategies and actions for council to deliver its vision and this budget will help us to deliver on those commitments.   Following the ‘Have Your Say’ community engagement process, council committed to deliver a range of actions on the four key themes of ‘Our People, Our Place, Our Prosperity and Our Promise’.

“We know the community is keen to see council services maintained at current levels, while also ensuring rates are kept as low as possible.   We know the community wants us to work continuously to improve the efficiency of the services we deliver.  We also know that the community wants Council to ensure it puts in place a financially responsible and sustainable budget,” Lloyd said. 

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“So, to help us achieve this in the 2018/19 financial year, council’s draft budget is based on the following principles:

  • to increase average rates by no more than 2.15%. This is below the average rate increase allowable under the State Government’s Fair Go Rates System (which is 2.25% for the 2018/19 financial year).
  • to deliver a balanced budget – i.e., a budget where forecast revenue matches forecast expenditure.
  • to take on no new debt – this will reduce existing debt levels to under $700,000 by June 30 2019.  This represents the lowest level of absolute debt Council has held in more than a decade.
  • to maintain service levels and to improve service levels in some areas where they will have a great impact on the community – e.g. Customer Services and Community Safety (formerly known as local laws)
  • to limit increases to all fees and charges (those within Council’s control) and to cap any increases to no more than 2.25%, in line with the rate cap.

Council also proposes committing resources to its ‘Customer First’ Project in the draft budget.

“Since coming onboard as CEO in January, my focus has been on working to ensure the best possible experience for customers, including by modernising and streamlining our customer service systems and processes.  We are proposing to commit resources in this Budget to achieve this”.

“We have also allocated more than $7.8 million to fund capital works projects across the Shire in 2018/19 which we believe will deliver an equitable spread of investment across the Shire.

“We are proposing Council again allocates $280,000 to fund the ‘Business and Tourism Innovation Grants’ Program to help businesses to prosper, and to encourage events in the Shire which will help encourage people to visit us and to showcase all the Shire has to offer.

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“And we are recommending council boosts the resources committed to local laws, animal management, fire prevention and other compliance and enforcement activities – all of which helps to improve community safety,” Lloyd said.

Council  also proposes making domestic green waste free to drop off at any Resource Recovery Centres (RRC) from July 1, 2018, and that it looks for ways to assist those members of our community who might find it difficult to take green waste to an RRC.

“It is important to note that these initiatives will be made possible through the delivery of greater operational efficiencies internally in our service provision.

“And like all councils across Australia, we will need to manage the local impacts of changes in the international recycling market.  We are currently negotiating with our recycling service provider but increases in costs associated with recycling services will need to be passed on to rate payers through an increase in the waste service charge.   Local government agencies across Victoria are advocating for the Victorian Government to be part of a long term solution.  The State Government needs to invest the waste levy all councils collect from ratepayers on its behalf to address this complex problem.

“We are confident this draft budget will represent both a fiscally-responsible approach to managing council, but also one which reflects community sentiment and need and will help us make significant progress in delivering our Council Plan”, said Mr Lloyd.

“We anticipate the draft budget will be available for comment at all council offices from May 1 until 1 June 1, 2018 and can also be downloaded now.

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To make a submission to Council about the budget, you must do so in writing by no later than June 1, 2018.  Submissions can be sent via email to msc@murrindindi.vic.gov.au, hand delivered to a Council office or posted to: Manager Business Services, Murrindindi Shire Council, PO Box 138, Alexandra, VIC, 3714.

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