News item release date: Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Hobsons Bay City Council’s proposed 2017-2018 budget will deliver capital works projects to the tune of $35.13 million to improve local infrastructure and will continue to provide more than 100 important community services.
Now open for public comment, the proposed budget is based on an average rate increase of 2 per cent.
Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Sandra Wilson said the Council was committed to delivering value for money to its community.
“We are proud to present the 2017-18 Budget and believe this Budget is financially responsible to meet the needs of our community,” said Cr Wilson.
“The Budget was developed following extensive consultation to ensure we are delivering the high quality and appropriate services that our local residents, workforce and visitors expect and deserve.”
The Mayor said while the Council’s financial position was healthy, surpluses are expected to decline in future years as a result of rate capping and other income streams becoming stagnant, such as external grants.
“The surpluses of today will be important for us to tackle the financial challenges of future years and in addressing our known asset renewal needs over the next decade,” said Cr Wilson.
“We will only increase rates and charges by 2 per cent this year, which is in line with the State Government’s rate capping policy.
“Asset renewal continues to be the major focus of our capital works program and this will continue to be a major focus for our investment in our infrastructure over the next decade.
“Roads and rubbish are always prominent items in Council budgets but we’ll also being doing some considerable works on other important infrastructure that we all use daily such as drains and footpaths.”
Waste service charges have also been increased by 2 per cent to reflect Council’s decision to reimburse a further $220,000 to ratepayers in relation to refund of the carbon price that was previously collected by Council prior to the repeal of the federal legislation.
Highlights of the draft 2017-18 Budget include:
· roads – ($7.257 million) – including the road resurfacing program ($2.3 million) and the road rehabilitation program ($4.45 million)
· footpaths and cycle ways ($4.167 million) – including stage 3 of the Kororoit Creek Shared Trail ($1.78 million), footpath renewal program ($1.15 million), shared trails renewal program ($490,000) and work on the Skeleton Creek Trail ($530,000)
· open space ($7.968 million) – including parks, open space and streetscapes ($2.288 million), land improvements ($2.4 million), off-street car parks ($1.05 million) and recreational, leisure and community facilities ($2.23 million)
· buildings ($11.324 million) – including Altona Early Years Centre ($4.59 million), building renewal program ($2.515 million), JT Gray Reserve Pavilion ($680,000), Greenhouse Strategy program ($430,000), public toilets – Altona Boat Ramp ($300,000), public toilet – Ransom Reserve ($200,000) and Altona Sports Centre extension ($165,000)
· plant and equipment ($2.61 million) – including information technology ($620,000), new library materials ($850,000), library furniture and fit out ($225,000) and scheduled replacement of Council’s vehicle and plant fleets ($915,000)
“As well as the capital works program, Council will continue to fund more than 100 valued services to our community, including libraries, meals on wheels, aged care services, disability services, children and youth services, immunisation sessions, cultural events and local business development, not to mention waste collections,” said Cr Wilson.
“We’ll continue talking to our community about our budgets, our service levels and expenditure as we do every year through our budget processes.
“We’ll also be in regular conversations with our Local Members, State and Federal governments about future funding assistance they are obliged to provide to deliver the infrastructure and services this community expects.”
The draft 2017-18 Budget is now available for public comment. Submissions close on 5pm, Wednesday 24 May 2017. To view the document, visit www.hobosnsbay.vic.gov.au or the Hobsons Bay Civic Centre, 115 Civic Parade, Altona. For more information, call 9932 1000.
“Though budgets can be complex documents they tell an important story of listening, planning and accountability.
“The Council complies with a 'model' budget format that local government must adhere to but we will also be offering more accessible and simple information to our community about what projects are included this year,” said Cr Wilson.
“I encourage you to read, look at the budget in detail, ask questions and comment accordingly.
“I’m sure I speak for all councillors when I say that Hobsons Bay 2030 is the community vision we are working to achieve and what the fundamentals of this budget are based on.”
Council proposes to adopt the Budget 2017-18 and the Council Plan 2017-21 at its meeting on Tuesday 27 June 2017 at 7pm.