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Draft Annual Budget Adopted

Publish Date: 14 May 2021

Buloke Shire Council has adopted its draft Annual Budget 2021/22 and placed it on exhibition for public submission.

The proposed Budget will deliver on key priorities identified in the Council Plan 2021-25 and Long-Term Community Vision as well as the Financial Plan.

The Budget details the resources required over the next year to fund the large range of services and programs provided to the community. It also includes details of proposed capital expenditure allocations to improve and renew Council’s road network, buildings, footpaths, drainage and recreational facilities.

For a second year, Council has developed an Annual Budget under the pressures associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic. These pressures are felt not only at a local level, but economic stresses are placed on national and global economies.

Over the last 18 months Council have introduced a range of measures in order to support our residents and businesses. Council will continue to work with the community to maintain and advance these initiatives as we emerge from the pandemic.

Ensuring Buloke communities are vibrant places to live, work and visit is a strong focus of this Budget. This 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 $7.437million 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 Wycheproof, Donald, Birchip, Charlton and Berriwillock valued at $2.8million
  • 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 2020, including development of a Workforce Plan and Gender Equality Action Plan

The Budget proposes 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 and proposes a 70% differential rate for farmland, down from 80% in 2020/21.

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

Mayor Cr Daryl Warren is looking forward to feedback on the draft Annual Budget and invites residents to have their say.

“By listening and understanding our community, Council knows we need to continue our investments in improved streetscapes, river front developments, footpaths and having funds available to respond to community projects by having a range of grants and the funds to repair community assets like Scilleys Island bridge in Donald.

“We also need to continue to elevate our spend on our biggest asset, our road network.

“Councillors and staff look forward community feedback on our proposed Budget for 2021/22 and as we have done in this term of Council, meeting with our community to discuss their thoughts on our efforts to date in making Buloke Shire the place to live, work and play”, he said.

Full details on making a written submission as well as the draft Annual Budget 2021/22 are available on Council’s website. The draft Budget is also available in hard copy at Council’s Wycheproof Customer Service Centre or by calling Council on 1300 520 520.

Submissions close at 12 noon Wednesday 9 June 2021.

Those who make a written submission will be invited to speak to their submission at Council’s Ordinary Meeting to be held from 7.00pm on Wednesday 9 June 2021.

Council will, after consideration of all submissions, adopt its Annual Budget 2021/22 at an additional Meeting of Council to be held on Wednesday 16 June 2021.

View the draft Annual Budget 2021/22.

End release 
For further information contact Manager Customer Engagement, Travis Fitzgibbon on 03 5478 0181 or tfitzgibbon@buloke.vic.gov.au