Help shape the City of Greater Bendigo's 2023/2024 Budget priorities
Community members are invited to lodge submissions on projects or community priorities for consideration in the 2023/2024 Budget. Residents are encouraged to submit priorities that are aligned to the Council Plan (Mir wimbul) 2021-2025 and the Financial Plan.
Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said now was the time for community members to put forward priorities and ideas to inform Budget planning.
“The engagement process will help us to understand priorities and recurring themes in the community and inform the drafting of next year’s Council Plan actions and Budget,” Cr Metcalf said.
“The City will, of course, also prioritise our region’s recovery from recent floods, including critical roads and drainage projects.
“This is your opportunity to tell us what matters to you by making a submission to our online engagement platform Let’s Talk Greater Bendigo, which is open until Wednesday November 30.
“This could be progressing existing projects, looking at new project ideas or other ways we can support residents to achieve great things in the community.
“Community members will also have the opportunity to present to Councillors in person if they wish to do so on December 8, starting at 5.30pm at Bendigo Town Hall.
“There is also an important change in the Budget process compared to previous years.
“This engagement in 2022 will be the only public consultation period before the Budget is developed for adoption.
“The new 2020 Local Government Act (the Act) no longer requires a draft Budget to be placed on public exhibition for 28 days. In line with the Act, Council does not intend to display a draft 2023/2024 Budget.
“Early public engagement proved to be very successful last year, with many people welcoming the opportunity to put forward submissions for consideration before work started on the Budget.
“All priorities and themes received will be collated and reviewed by City officers and Councillors in line with Council Plan and Financial Plan objectives.
“The City welcomes input on priorities but must also manage expectations. The Budget funds 69 important community services, multi-year projects, essential infrastructure works and maintenance.
“Community submissions will need to be considered alongside existing services and Budget settings. The City is also facing the challenges of additional flood clean-up expenditure, Consumer Price Index rates, rising construction costs, and the overall rate revenue remaining capped in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rate System.
“Rates and charges make up 65 per cent of the City’s income and the gap between income and expenditure is expected to widen.
“The City is working towards presenting a draft Budget for adoption at the Council meeting in May 2023, which will be a month earlier than in previous years.
“Being Budget-ready in May means we can start preparing further in advance for projects, works and initiatives that are to be funded from July 1, 2023 onwards.”
To make a submission and find out more about the Budget process, visit https://letstalkgreaterbendigo.com.au/2023-2024-budget
For residents who do not have access to Let’s Talk Greater Bendigo, written submissions can be sent via post or handed in at the Bendigo or Heathcote Customer Service Centres. The City’s postal address is PO Box 733, Bendigo, VIC 3552.