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Buloke Maps Financial Future

Buloke Maps Financial Future

Publish Date: 17 June 2021

Buloke Shire Council has adopted four key documents that will shape the direction of Council now and into the future at a Council Meeting held on 16 June 2021.

Council’s Annual Budget 2021/22, Long-Term Community Vision and Council Plan 2021-25, Revenue and Rating Plan and Financial Plan have all been adopted and will play significant roles in planning and delivery over the next ten years.

The Annual Budget 2021/22 details the resources required over the next year to fund the large range of services and programs Council provide to the community. It also includes details of proposed capital expenditure allocations to improve and renew roads, buildings, footpaths, drainage and recreational facilities.

Ensuring our communities are vibrant places to live, work and visit is a strong focus of this budget which is funded by a combined operating and capital budget of $39.9 million. This focus extends to continued focus on improving Council’s road network. Key capital budget initiatives funded in this budget include:

  • A large investment into roads, with over $7.437 million be spent across the network. This includes upgrades to the Jeffcott Road, Birchip Nullawil Road, and McLoughlan Road. In addition, Council has allocated $1.2million of resealing works across the network
  • Improvements to streetscapes and riverfronts across Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea Lake and Wycheproof will extend into 2021/22, with the addition of upgrades to Scilleys Island Bridge in Donald, bringing the total to $6.5million across two financial years
  • Implementation of the Buloke Playspace Masterplan, with upgrades to playgrounds at Berriwillock, Birchip, Charlton, Donald and Wycheproof valued at $2.8 million
  • Upgrades to lighting across sporting facilities Charlton, Nullawil and Wycheproof to allow for training and competition standards valued at just over $2million
  • Improvements to the Wycheproof Saleyards, including new ramps as well as upgrades to car parks at Charlton Park and the Nullawil Silo Art valued at $387,000

Key operational budget initiatives to support our community committed to in this budget include:

  • Extension of the 2020/21 support to Lake Committees with an annual allocation to help pay for water top-up costs
  • Attracting funding for new roles servicing youth services, volunteer services, hospitality support and apprentices
  • The development of a masterplan for Birchip Community Leisure Centre and increased investment into designs for the forward capital works program
  • Continued implementation of the Local Government Act, including development of a Workforce Plan and Gender Equality Action Plan

The Budget includes a rate increase of 1.5%, which is in line with the cap set by the Fair Go Rates System (FGRS). The impact of the FGRS combined with Council's ability to meet the expectations of the community within the rate cap continues to be a challenge.

The impact of annual valuations continues to impact on the individual rates that all of our property owners receive. Council has revised its rating differentials again this year, with 70% differential rate for farmland adopted, down from 80% in 2020/21.

There is no increase to the waste service charge in this budget year, with full cost recovery is maintained.

Ten submission were received to the budget, and after consideration of all submissions a contribution of $2,000 was allocated to each Community Neighbourhood House in the Buloke network and $1,000 to the Buloke Tourism Board.

“The process of developing the budget has been a challenging task. Faced with farm property values rising above 20%, the Councillors and staff have used the available tools of our Revenue and Rating Strategy to frame a budget that is, we believe equitable for all sectors of the Buloke Shire. All the while, we were preparing a second budget under the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“This budget supports the community with continued investment in our extensive road network, streetscapes, playspaces, riverfronts and recreation. It is a balanced budget that continues to enrich the lives of residents and place our region as a great place to visit and move to”, he said.

Supporting the budget are the Revenue and Rating Plan, which informs the approach to generating income required to support the implementation of the Council Plan and the Financial Plan, which enables improved monitoring of Council’s financial viability, and better reporting and analysis of decisions and assumptions over a 10-year period.

Mayor Cr Daryl Warren acknowledged that whilst it is a difficult time for everyone in the community, Council has been able to prepare a fair budget that supports the growth of Buloke Shire.

You can view the Annual Budget 2021/22 and all adopted publications on Council’s website or collect a hard copy at Council’s Wycheproof Customer Service Centre.

End release 
For further information contact Manager Customer Engagement, Travis Fitzgibbon on 03 5478 0181 or