The Budget 2023/2024 will be considered for adoption at the next Council meeting on Monday May 22, following extensive public engagement last November.
Community members were invited to provide priorities that supported the City’s Community Vision and Council Plan (Mir wimbul) 2021-2025 and other key strategies, including the Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026 and Healthy Greater Bendigo 2021-2025.
City of Greater Bendigo Director Corporate Performance Jess Howard said many residents took part in the public consultation on the City’s Let’s Talk engagement platform.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank residents for their time and effort to provide input and feedback at the start of the Budget process. We received a record number of priorities compared to previous years,” Ms Howard said.
“There were many great ideas and the overwhelming feedback from the community engagement was the importance of creating healthy liveable places and spaces in Greater Bendigo.
“Some priorities raised by residents during the engagement process were already taken into consideration as part of renewal and new capital works programs, or earmarked as part of other potential projects in the future.
“It is important for residents to note that the Budget is not the only avenue for residents to raise priorities, there are also other great channels available to let Councillors and the City know about important matters or issues in the community.
“Besides the Budget process, I encourage residents to lodge customer requests either online or by talking to our friendly Customer Service staff as these requests are sent to relevant units for consideration. Residents can also make submissions through the City’s community grant programs. In the last financial year, 86 community groups were successful in receiving funding to help support their activities or projects.
“The Budget 2023/2024 to be considered by Council delivers for the community while being fiscally responsible. Community priorities have been considered alongside 69 important community services provided by Council, multi-year investments for larger capital works projects, and important everyday commitments such as maintaining assets and essential infrastructure works.”
There is also an important change in the Budget process compared to previous years. Council is not releasing a draft Budget at the end of the process. Instead, community engagement has been sought earlier in the process to enable Councillors to identify important themes and make informed decisions.
The proposed Budget will be presented at the next Council meeting for consideration on Monday May 22. The full Budget will be available to view on the Council agenda on the City website at close of business on Wednesday May 17.