Council Presents 2014/15 Budget
The proposed Bass Coast Shire Council budget for 2014/15 seeks to balance the demand for services and infrastructure with the community’s capacity to pay.
Council endorsed the draft budget at last night’s meeting, which included a $12.226 million Capital Expenditure program – an increase of $1.44 million, or a real increase of 22 per cent in Council funding for capital works.
Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said the proposed budget sees a change of emphasis in how Council balances services and future sustainability.
“This change of emphasis has seen the organisation focus on how it can deliver services more cost effectively, so as to relieve the increasing pressure on rate revenue and also invest in the renewal and upkeep of assets and infrastructure,” Cr Rankine said.
“We have reduced the cost of what we do (delivering services) by $2.17 million compared to the previous year (to an expected spend of $52 million), allowing us to concentrate a greater share of available funding to the maintenance and development of infrastructure, resulting in a more sustainable approach to the management of assets.
“To help fund this, average rates and charges will increase by 6.0 per cent or $89 per property.”
Cr Rankine said this year’s budget has been developed with the knowledge that government grants are not keeping pace with the level of growth Bass Coast experiences.
“As a sea change Council, we experience increased community expectations to deliver new infrastructure and we need to plan for external impacts such as climate change.
“While addressing these factors, we will continue to maintain a focus on spending in the areas of roads, parks, recreation and traffic management combined with essential renewal projects focussed across the Shire.
“This budget also has an increased focus on delivering shared paths and ensuring the safety of pedestrians when using our path networks.”
The 2014/15 budget includes a 5.5 per cent increase in general rates per average property. The garbage charge will also increase from $284 to $307 (after no increase last year).
Average rates and charges per property will increase from $1,478 in the 2013/14 financial year to $1567 in the 2014/15 financial year. This equates to an increase of $89.
Capital Works Summary
Council has developed a $12.226 capital works program for 2014/15 consisting of:
- Roads ($5.76 million). This includes asphalt surface renewals, road reconstructions and pathways constructions.
- Drainage ($0.5 million). This includes urban drainage improvements.
- Recreational, leisure and Community Facilities ($0.2 million). This includes renewal and upgrade of playgrounds.
- Parks, Open Space and Streetscapes ($2.1 million). This includes works in parks and reserves and rail trail renewal.
- Buildings ($0.4 million). This includes construction of new buildings and renewal of existing ones.
- Plant & equipment ($1.6 million). This includes the replacement of plant and vehicles, offset by trade-ins and sales.
- Land Improvements ($0.8 million). This includes rehabilitation of waste landfill sites.
The major initiatives included in the 2014/15 budget aligned to Council’s Strategic Objectives are:
- Implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan
- Commence the preparation of a Natural Environment Sustainability Strategy
Sustainable Development and Growth
- Complete the Planning Scheme amendment process for the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay
- Commence the Planning Scheme amendment process for the Rural Land Use Strategy
- Develop a new Waste Management Strategy
- Commence preparation of a Healthy Communities Strategy
- Commence the design of the Cowes Cultural Precinct
- Prepare the Cowes Activity Centre Plan
- Develop a ten year financial plan including a long term capital works program for consideration by Council
- Complete a review of Council’s rating Strategy
- Commence preparation of an Economic Development Strategy
Land Management Rebate
The land management rebate has been increased from $519,621 in 2013/2014 to $553,019 in 2014/15.
Copies of the proposed budget are available on Council’s website and will be available for inspection from Wednesday, 2 July 2014 at:
- Bass Coast Civic Centre : 76 McBride Ave, Wonthaggi
- Cowes Customer Service Centre: 91-97 Thompson Ave
- Inverloch Community Hub: 16 A’Beckett St
- Grantville Transaction Centre: 1504-1510 Bass Hwy
- Libraries across the Shire, including the mobile library.
Under the provisions of Section 223 of the Local Government Act, any person may make a written submission on any proposal contained in the Budget.
Any person lodging a submission may request to be heard in person in support of their submission. Submissions may be made available to the public.
Submissions must be received by 5.00pm on Tuesday, 5 August 2014 and be addressed to The Chief Executive Officer, Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118, Wonthaggi VIC 3995.
Submissions will be considered by a committee of Council on Wednesday, 13 August. The budget will be formally presented to the 20 August meeting for adoption, along with the outcome of any submissions.
For further information about the proposed budget, contact Council on 1300BCOAST (226 278).