Bass Coast,

Changes made to proposed Budget and Council Plan

Bass Coast Shire Council has made a number of changes and inclusions to the proposed Annual Budget 2017/18 and Council Plan 2017-21 following community feedback.

In response to the 23 submissions received from the community on the proposed budget, as well as additional information provided since its release for public comment, a number of changes have been included in the final Budget and Council Plan, with both documents to be considered for adoption next week.

Changes to the proposed Budget include:

  • Undertaking detailed design and costing of all remaining stages of the Cowes Cultural Centre redevelopment to ensure that Council is in the position to take advantage of future funding opportunities at a cost of $650,000.
  • Utilising $300,000 from the skate parks reserve to undertake new works and upgrades on skate parks
  • Additional funding of up to $110,000 towards the Phillip Island Football Netball clubrooms
  • An additional $30,000 to supporting the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club and its partners to take the Cape Paterson Bay Beach Development plan from concept to detailed design
  • An additional $30,000 to assist with the initial establishment of the YES Youth Hub Bass Coast
  • An additional $10,000 towards roadside vegetation management

Funding for these projects was made available in a number of ways identified after the release of the initial draft Budget, including:

  • a revision to the Victorian Grants Commission funding formula resulting in an increase to operating grants of $347,000
  • a change to the scope of the capital project for the Scenic Estate Conservation Reserve reducing the value of the project by $269,400
  • The recent State Government decision to fully fund the State Emergency Services, reducing Council’s outlays by $135,000
  • An increase in funding for the delivery of school crossing supervision by the State Government of $20,000

Changes to the proposed Council Plan include:

  • An amendment to the acknowledgement to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first Australians 
  • The inclusion of the following points in Strategic Outcomes
    • Focus on jobs of the future for today’s youth
    • Foster and encourage agriculture and promote the Shire’s rural sector
    • Develop and grow local businesses including agritourist and agriculture
    • Support rural business through networking and industry development
  • The inclusion of the following points under What we heard in Governance:
    • Council to endeavour to commit to comply with the rate cap for the duration of their Council Term
  • The inclusion of the following points in Strategic Outcomes in Health and Wellbeing
    • Work with other agencies to implement Family Violence Prevention Plans and Strategies 
  • The inclusion under key financial objectives in the Strategic Resource Plan
    • An underlying assumption of the SRP is that rate rises will be in line with the State Government’s Fair Go rate system
  • Inclusion of an action in the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Action Plan
    • Improve participation in eye testing

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said Council had worked with the community to ensure their aspirations and feedback had been considered in the proposed Council Plan and Budget.

“We are grateful for the time and effort our community contributed to the development of these documents, starting way back in January with our ‘Shape a better Bass Coast’ engagement campaign,” Cr Rothfield said.

“As a result, we have been able to build the proposed Budget and proposed Council Plan based on the aspirations of our community, including the latest changes following the passionate submissions made by community members.

Cr Rothfield said the proposed budget continued to address the growing infrastructure renewal gap for the municipality in a responsible manner.

“Council has financed a significant element of this additional financial burden by reducing the cost of services, and as a result has responsibly maintained the increase in charges to residents at a reasonable level, whilst maintaining a similar long term borrowing profile,” Cr Rothfield said.

“We are committed to our continual review process for Council services to identify further efficiencies for the benefit of our entire community.”

You can find the proposed Budget and Council Plan, as well as Council's responses to submissions made, here.