Wednesday, May 15, 2013

budget released for comment

report from the roundtable - 14 may

Last night’s council meeting saw the unanimous endorsement (note: Cr McCarthy absent) of the council budget 2013/14 and council plan for 2013/17.

The two documents guide Council’s strategic direction and activities in the next term of council and are out as a draft to seek public comment. Council will consider public submissions prior to the budget being endorsed at its meeting on the 25 June.

It is pleasing to see key directions in place for some time at Yarra Ranges reinforced by this current council. There still remains an emphasis on active and engaged communities, quality community infrastructure, protected and enhanced natural environment, vibrant economy, agriculture and tourism and a high performing organisation. I’m very pleased that councillors approved an increase of $1million towards footpath construction for 2013/14, this is yet to be allocated to projects throughout the municipality. Footpath and pedestrian links were key issues highlighted in our recent community survey which attracted over 1500 responses.

There are some key influences that have shaped the development of the budget including the ongoing pressure to maintain and renew the shire’s ageing infrastructure. This is complicated by the fact we have minimal growth in our rate base due to low levels of new development.

Council has committed to implementing a long term asset management program on renewal of over $950million worth of ageing community infrastructure.

There are also increasing community expectations for an expanded range and scope of service delivery, overlaying this is an ageing population, placing increased demands of direct care service provision and with that that the challenge of delivering services across the board where we see ongoing growing costs of delivery.

A further constraint is the capping of many user fees and charges by the State Government, this restricts council’s ability to recover the true cost of proving services in the planning and building area.

With all of this at play council realises that we need to seek a balance when striking the rate rise and meeting our infrastructure and service demands as well as legislative requirements. Our long term financial strategy includes a 4.8% rate increase across the next four years.  

At this stage the budget and plan are out for public comment, you can submit your comments via
Some of the projects on the cards for Lyster:
$60,000 – Blair Rd Drainage, Belgrave
$25,000 – Bus stop, Belgrave Hallam Rd, Belgrave
$20,000 – Commence footpath construction in Station St, Belgrave
$50,000 – View Rd, Belgrave construction
$112,000 – ongoing work on the Belgrave to Birdsland trail
$53,900 – Belgrave Hub feasibility study

Included in block funding in the capital works budget:
$7,000 – upgrade of the entry to Selby Community House
$30,000 – major maintenance to Selby Tennis Club Pavilion
$14,000 – major maintenance to Tecoma Preschool
$40,200 – drainage improvements in Belgrave South and Heights
$70,000 – floodway works in Selby
$19,000 – drainage works in Narre Warren East
$35,000 – kerb and channel rehabilitation in The Patch and Belgrave South
$22,000 – intersection sealing in Kallista and Belgrave South
$15,000 – road and drainage improvements, Nation Rd, Selby
$15,000 – road and drainage improvements, Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave
$351,000 – road resurfacing and repairs for Brenda Gve, Tecoma, Colby Drv, Belgrave South, Georges Rd, The Patch, Kallista Emerald Rd, The Patch and The Patch Rd, The Patch
$24,000 – shoulder reconstruction, Grantulla Rd, Kallista

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