Budget 2018/2019- Mayor and CEO's message
We are very pleased to introduce the City of Greater Bendigo’s proposed 2018/2019 Budget. This year we have combined the Budget and Annual Plan which represent Council’s plan for our community for the financial year and demonstrate how both documents work together, delivering on the Community Plan.
We believe this Budget will ensure we continue to work towards achieving our vision of creating the world’s most liveable community.
This year’s proposed Budget includes a $40.5M investment in new projects and maintaining and renewing existing infrastructure. The Budget also invests $183.1M in continuing to fund important services for our community through the operating Budget.
The Budget supports the six key goals outlined in the Greater Bendigo Community Plan 2017-2021:
- Lead and govern for all
- Wellbeing and fairness
- Strengthening the economy
- Presentation and managing growth
- Environmental sustainability
- Embracing our culture and heritage
One of the City’s most important roles is providing critical services to the community. This year, the $183.1M operating Budget will continue to fund early years services, waste collection, street cleaning, maintenance of our fantastic parks, gardens and recreation facilities, environmental health, statutory planning, road maintenance, tourism and visitor services, Bendigo Art Gallery, The Capital and Ulumbarra theatre and much more.
Maintaining essential infrastructure is another key responsibility and the 2018/2019 budget will see $10.1M invested in renewing sealed roads, more than $5M for grading and resheeting of unsealed roads and $1.9M to renew drainage across the municipality. Overall $30.6M will be invested in renewing the City’s assets. Council will also spend $1.77M to build new and upgrade existing footpaths and shared paths.
Our capital works program highlights for this year include a significant contribution to the Garden Gully Hockey Pavilion ($2.3M) and to the Queen Elizabeth Oval (QEO) netball change rooms ($685,000). Other items include construction of the Ironbark Gully Trail from Nolan Street to Arnold Street ($500,000) and a CBD pop-up park ($50,000).
Works in rural areas include a new pedestrian bridge over McIvor Creek adjacent to Chauncey Street in Heathcote ($280,000) and oval lighting for the Elmore recreation reserve ($207,500). In funding these projects, Council is responding to items our residents have told us are important and will make our community more liveable.
The proposed Budget includes a rate increase of 2.25 per cent, which is in line with the Victorian Government’s rate cap. Council decided not to seek a variation to the rate cap this financial year, as it is confident it will be able to accommodate the rate cap without impacting on service delivery in the short term. However over time, the State Government’s rate cap will put pressure on the City’s financial sustainability and capacity to continue to deliver services and infrastructure to our growing community.
The City will collect a total of $193.9M in revenue, which will come from rates, charges, statutory fees, user fees and fines, operating and capital grants from the State and Federal Governments, interest on investments, and monetary and non-monetary contributions from other sources. This year, $27.1M will come from State and Federal Government grants, which are an important source of income for the City to continue to deliver services.
Residents will see a rise in general waste and recycling charges in response to changes in global recycling markets, landfill remediation and the increasing cost of landfill charges levied by the Environmental Protection Authority. The recycling charge will increase by $25 per property. The rises reflect the costs of providing the service; Council does not make a profit from waste services.
The City has made a strong commitment to educate residents about what they can put in their waste, recycling and organics bins. Council is working on options for hard waste, free green waste disposal and overflow of recycling into the general waste bin to improve waste services.
The 2018/2019 proposed Budget is conservative and responsible. Its development was influenced by planning for population growth, meeting the rate cap set by the State Government, managing the costs of utilities for all of the City’s infrastructure and working within an increasingly regulated environment. The capital works budget is lower this financial year due to a number of large scale multi-year projects coming to an end.
Other factors which Councillors considered were balancing the demand for new infrastructure while maintaining or upgrading existing assets, taking on responsibility for an increasing number of public assets when they are transferred from developers and service provision over large rural areas.
We encourage you to read the proposed Budget and Annual Plan online or collect a copy from Council offices. This is an important way for you to help us to shape a positive future for our municipality.
Submissions to the proposed Budget and Annual Plan close on Friday May 18. Anyone who makes a written submission and requests for their submission to be heard may present to Council on May 23 at the Council offices in Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo from 5.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearing of submissions.
We look forward to hearing your feedback on the proposed 2018/2019 Budget.