The City of Boroondara’s Annual Report 2019-20 highlights the achievements and challenges of the past year. It reports on how we are meeting the strategic objectives set out in the Council Plan 2017-21.
It is with great pleasure that I present the City of Boroondara’s Annual Report 2020-21.
Although we continued to face collective challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, my fellow Councillors and I are proud of Council’s achievements despite much uncertainty this past reporting year.
Supporting our residents, local business, and community organisations during this crisis has remained our top priority as we work together towards recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
Through these trying times, we continued to deliver important services, projects and initiatives to meet the needs of our community as expressed in the Boroondara Community Plan - our key strategic document outlining the 10-year-vision for Boroondara based on what our community told us was most important to them.
We invested a total of $75.68 million into community assets, with $5.5 million spent on our much-loved parks, open spaces and streetscapes and $8.4 million spent on enhancing community buildings.
We reached significant milestones on a number of capital projects, including the commencement of construction at the new Kew Recreation Centre and Canterbury Community Precinct. We also completed the redevelopment of Camberwell Community Centre.
Alongside enhancements to community infrastructure, we have continued to invest in vital services to support our community. These investments include:
- $9.5 million in aged, disability and health services, including the delivery of 60,151 hours of in-home care for people over the age of 65 and 20,477 immunisations to infants, children and adults in Boroondara.
- $8.9 million in family and youth services, with 38 Council buildings leased for little or no cost to community organisations providing long day care, occasional care and kindergarten services.
- $9.5 million in library services, providing a seven day per week virtual and in-person service across Boroondara resulting in 1.25 million loans over the past year.
I am particularly proud of our ability to pivot and provide valuable services to our community despite the ongoing impacts of Victorian Government COVID-19 restrictions. The Boroondara Library Service offered a click and collect service, as well as a home delivery service, to ensure our residents maintained connections and could continue to enjoy our resources.
During the past year, we have diverted over 47,000 tonnes of waste from landfill thanks to our food organics and garden organics (FOGO) program. We delivered phase two of the FOGO service to multi-unit dwellings in October 2020, contributing to a landfill diversion rate of approximately 70 per cent on a month-to-month basis. This positions Boroondara as the top-performing municipality in waste diversion in Victoria.
We listened to the voices of our community, with hundreds sharing their ideas about the development of our Climate Action Plan. The draft Plan was presented for feedback in mid-2021, which will help guide our environmental sustainability commitments and actions over the next decade to help overcome the challenges of climate change.
Our community told us what was most important to them today in Boroondara to help renew our Boroondara Community Plan 2021-31. The new Plan which incorporates the 10-year Community Vision, Council Plan 2021-25 and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021-25 is expected to be endorsed by 30 October 2021, outlining Council’s priorities for the next 10-years.
To our residents, ratepayers, volunteers, local traders and community organisations - on behalf of Council, I thank you for your continued support over the past year. As we enter a new Council term, I also sincerely thank all Councillors who served during the past four-year term for their contribution to the Boroondara community.
I look forward to working together on our road to recovery over the year ahead.
Cr Garry Thompson
As was the case during the release of the 2019-20 report, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the way we live, work, study and play in Boroondara. With this in mind, we have continued to prioritise and support the health and wellbeing of our community in accordance with our Boroondara Community Plan, Municipal Emergency Management Plan and Pandemic Plan.
The $4.5 million COVID-19 assistance package announced in April 2020 provided vital support for residents, businesses and community groups over the past year. We acknowledge that these times are tough, which is why ratepayers have also been able to seek assistance through Boroondara’s existing Financial Hardship Policy.
Our COVID-19 hotline assisted in providing relief and referral services to residents in need, with 1402 calls received during the past reporting year.
We delivered a comprehensive ‘Parklet and Outdoor Dining Program’ from late-2020, creating new opportunities for hospitality businesses to accommodate more customers in a COVIDSafe way.
By fast-tracking applications for business to establish new and extended outdoor dining spaces on footpaths, private and public land, and temporary parklets in car parking bays, we encouraged foot traffic back into our local shopping precincts for the benefit of all Boroondara businesses and the broader community.
Due to the program’s overwhelming popularity, plans to create a seasonal program are being explored.
I am delighted to announce that we delivered 86.4% of our Annual Commitments over the past reporting year, which are guided by the priorities contained in the Boroondara Community Plan.
As a Council, we remain dedicated to continually improving our service delivery wherever possible. That said, I am particularly proud of the fact City of Boroondara remains one of the top performing Councils in Victoria as measured in the Victorian Government’s state-wide Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey.
Over the past reporting year, several of our services have now become available online, allowing our community to engage with us when they want, how they want. These enhancements were initiated based on feedback we received from our community.
We developed the Children and Young People Action Plan to help children in Boroondara grow into thriving, happy, and healthy adults. The Plan ensures we contribute to an environment where children and young people are valued, happy, healthy, safe and can actively participate in our community.
It has been particularly rewarding to see the third iteration of Boroondara’s commitment to dealing with climate change. A new Climate Action Plan is well advanced to build upon the Our Low Carbon Future Strategies which preceded it. The community has been consulted and it is expected the plan will be adopted by Council prior to the end of October.
While it is important to celebrate all we’ve achieved over the past reporting year, it must be said that for the first time in its history, Council reported a net deficit. The net loss of $9.43 million for the 2020-21 reporting year was largely due to the impacts of COVID-19 on Council’s revenue and expenditure streams. While we are still amid the global pandemic, I am confident our 2021-22 Budget provides a clear and measured path to recovery.
I sincerely thank our Boroondara community and everyone who has helped us deliver the best outcomes possible. I also thank Council staff for their commitment and ongoing efforts to deliver Council’s diverse range of services, adapting to new working arrangements through multiple lockdowns and restrictions.
I look forward to another year of working together to deliver for Boroondara.
Chief Executive Officer