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May Meeting Wrap

Publish Date 12 May 2022

Buloke Shire Council’s May Meeting was highlighted by the adoption of the Draft Annual Budget 2022-23 and Social Media Policy as well as an advocacy effort in relation to the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Council adopted the Draft Annual Budget 2022-23 which focusses on the delivery on key initiatives and maintaining current services across its programs, services, facilities and infrastructure.

Now open for community submission, the budget is proposed to deliver $17.6m in infrastructure projects and this includes over $6m invested in the road network.

The Annual Plan Progress Report for the third quarter of the financial year noted key actions delivered in the first year of the Buloke Shire Council Plan 2021-2025.

Key markers included the completion of lighting installation at tennis clubs, near completion of the Birchip streetscape, completion of Sea Lake – Lake Lascelles and Birchip - Nullawil road upgrades and the awarding of contracts for works on McLoughlan’s Road and Jeffcott Road.

Other achievements included the submission of Gender Equality Action Plan, upgrades to the library service, adoption of Interim Economic Development and Tourism Strategy and successful Street Art Festivals held in Birchip and Watchem.

Sea Lake and Wycheproof’s streetscapes are also underway, as well as extensive consultation on the Road Management Plan achieved, and continued community and business support with COVID-19 recovery.

The updated Social Media Policy reflects the contemporary situation in providing opportunities to enhance community connection and to encourage online conversations through the exploration and consideration of diverse thoughts and views.

In adopting the Policy, Council acknowledged the importance of providing clear direction and effective tools for staff and Councillors, ensuring the safe provision and administration of social media for the good of the community.

The Murray Basin Rail Project is an integral part of increasing freight capacity, reducing reliance on high productivity freight vehicles and impact on the road network.

Council expressed concern about impacts the incomplete project is having on the region in reducing freight capacity, movement of rail freight to road, degradation of the road network through increased reliance on high productivity freight vehicles. Other issues to be addressed were the mix of broad and standard gauges and subsequent increase in rail transit times.

Council moved to advocate strongly for the community and completion of the Project to its original scope and write to Premier Andrews requesting his government’s commitment to complete the project be honoured.

The next Buloke Shire Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 8 June 2022.