Bass Coast,

Council sticks with rate cap

Bass Coast Shire Council will not seek a variation to the rate cap for the 2016/17 financial year, instead staying with the 2.5 per cent set by the State Government in December last year.

Following extensive community consultation, Council acknowledged feedback received clearly indicated there was a desire from the community for Council to prepare a budget that has an average rate increase within the rate cap.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, said Council will now consider all feedback in preparation of the 2016/17 Budget.

“The comments, suggestions and ideas received have provided valuable information to be incorporated into the development of the draft 2016/17 Budget and all options and alternatives provided will be considered,” Cr Crugnale said.

The development of the draft Budget will also inform further updates to Council’s Long Term Financial Plan, which will be continually updated to ensure it reflects the current long term ambitions and expected deliverables of Council.

Cr Crugnale said Council had already made significant savings in the past two years, and would find further efficiencies to stay within the cap.

“Council was given a clear mandate at the start of our term to pick up that magnifying glass and take a long hard look at the internal operations and organisational structure, find efficiencies, review business models and get more projects – major projects at that – delivered on the ground,” Cr Crugnale said.

“We have been systematically going through service by service, and with over 100 services, it does not happen overnight.

“In the last two years, we have reduced staff by 23 FTE, and total savings since employing CEO, Paul Buckley PSM, are at $2.68 million, with the majority of those savings redirected to our Capital Works Program.”

The draft 2016/17 Budget will be released for consultation on 21 April 2016.