Bass Coast,

Bass Coast Presents Draft Budget

After working on the draft budget for a number of months, Bass Coast Shire Council’s draft budget will be presented to the 19 June Council meeting.

The Draft includes a capital works program of approximately $15 million and new initiatives of $550,000, enabling Council to maintain, and in some cases increase, services to the growing community.

Council has been able to contain the increase in average rates and charges per property to 5.9 per cent, or $83 from $1,395 to $1,478.

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Clare Le Serve, said the rate increase was reached despite a number of challenges faced by Council.

“We have seen an increase in costs of providing services and facilities to a growing population and a growing number of visitors, as well as an increase in the costs of materials and supplies, and utilities such as water, gas and electricity,” Cr Le Serve said.

“We have also had to factor in the impact of the $4 million defined benefits superannuation liability and the outcomes of Council’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.”

Cr Le Serve said the new budget would also allow for the costs of providing services and facilities to our community despite grant levels not keeping pace with any increases.

“Council is continuing to lobby and advocate for more grant funding to take the pressure off rate revenue,” Cr Le Serve said.

“We will also be spending more on maintaining our infrastructure in order to ensure our assets such as roads, bridges, footpaths and buildings don’t deteriorate, and will continue to provide service to current and future generations.”

Council has also proposed to increase borrowings during the year by approximately $4 million in order to fund capital works and to ensure sufficient cash resources are in place to fund Council’s operations given the depletion of cash resources following the payment of the unfunded superannuation liability last year.

“To meet these challenges, Council has needed to trim expenditure, particularly in the area of capital works,” Cr Le Serve said.

The draft budget will be consistent with the Strategic Resource Plan contained in the Council Plan, which was released for public comment last week.