Bass Coast,

Community Show Interest In 2014/15 Budget

Bass Coast Shire Council adopted its 2014/15 budget at last week’s Ordinary Meeting.

“We were very pleased to have had 19 submissions from the community to consider before adopting this Budget,” Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said.

“Last year we had only two submissions and so we were very proactive this year in asking the community to consider the draft Budget.“

Even better, we had six submitters who came in in person to explain their concerns to a committee of councillors.

“The submissions identified a range of common concerns including, the increasing employee costs, insufficient spending on capital works, the level of rates contributed by the farming sector, a need to prioritise expenditure towards environmental initiatives, stronger planning controls in small coastal towns, the distribution of capital works across the municipality, and the need to improve waste services.”

Cr Rankine said the Committee of Council Report noted that a significant number of these concerns aligned with their own observations and were similar to issues that had been raised with councillors either through their election campaigns, or over the past two years as elected representatives.

“The Committee believe that in general, the majority of concerns are being addressed through initiatives that are already included in the proposed budget,” Cr Rankine said.

“We are meeting our commitment in Council’s Strategic Resource Plan that identifies rate increases will decrease over the next three years to a four per cent increase at the end of our current terms.In 2014/15, Council will be:

  • Undertaking a comprehensive rating strategy review to determine the most appropriate rating structure and method of rate distribution across the municipality
  • Commencing a program to undertake comprehensive service reviews to improve Council’s long term financial sustainability
  • Developing a Long Term Financial Plan that will determine how Council will fund a range of major capital infrastructure investments together with funding asset renewal and service delivery
  • Developing a waste management strategy to provide the broad strategic direction for manage waste in Bass Coast

“The Committee was also very impressed with the time and effort taken by everyone who had made a submission and would like to particularly thank those who presented to the Committee of Council. I would also hope that those who have submitted to us will see a real change by the time the next budget comes around,” Cr Rankine said.