In this final Budget of Council’s four-year term and together with the Annual Plan 2016-17, the focus continues to be on maintaining quality services, debt reduction, ensuring rate increases are kept at record low levels, and on a continued investment in upgrading community facilities in Boroondara.
At the Council Meeting on Tuesday 26 April 2016, Mayor of Boroondara, Councillor Jim Parke presented the proposed Budget for public comment.
Cr Parke says Council was paying off its loans faster, and making significant interest payment savings, with a forecast that it will be debt free by 2026.
“I am proud that we as Councillors, and the administration, have understood our joint responsibility to deliver value and manage our finances prudently.
“The City of Boroondara continues to be well managed and is financially sound. This is evidenced by our management of the Victorian Government’s rate capping legislation in that our 10-year financial plan could accommodate this without a reduction in services or infrastructure in the medium term,” Cr Parke said.
The 2016-17 Budget continues Council’s investment in the infrastructure of the City and maintaining Council’s commitment to building a better City now and for the future.
“There’s so much more to local government than roads, rates and rubbish. Consider adding a few more R’s – representation, resident services, recreation, revitalisation and responsible management just to name a few. It takes more than 100 services to keep a City and its community safe, healthy and supported.
“The good news is that waste fees aren’t increasing this year and that the rate increase has been kept to the rate capped amount of 2.5%
“Council is not complacent in its commitment to look at its operations and processes to make sure it meets community expectations in an efficient and cost effective way.
“We make no apologies for investing in a multi-year improvement program which will see improvement in our management systems, creating seamless and intuitive digital experiences,” he said.
Significant construction projects in this year’s Budget include:
- $5.5 million on construction of the North East Community Hub ($17.3 million total to be completed in 2017-18)
- $4.2 million on construction of the Balwyn Library redevelopment ($7.7 million to be completed in 2017-18)
- $3.8 million on the redevelopment of the Camberwell Community Centre.
Some major initiatives include:
- $3.3 million on improving Council’s online services
- $853,000 on improvements to our shopping centres
- $250,000 on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Council buildings (three year project with a total of $2 million)
- $250,000 on a Boroondara-wide heritage assessment (five year project with a total of $1.3 million).
Council’s high level of service provision to residents will continue. These services include:
- $8.1 million to be spent on library services that provide seven day a week service across the City
- $13.4 million will be spent on aged, disability and health services. Services include immunisation, aged care and disability support for vulnerable members of our community
- $4.7 million will be spent on families and youth services such as maternal and child health and the Headspace Hawthorn consortium.
To deliver quality services, Council maintains infrastructure at an appropriate standard.
In 2016-17, Council will deliver:
- $16.5 million on drains, footpaths and local roads
- $11.9 million on other community building renewal works.
Council welcomes input from local residents on the proposed Budget. Public submissions can be made from now until Wednesday 25 May 2016. In any submission, please indicate if you would like the opportunity to present to Council at the Council meeting on Tuesday 14 June 2016 to support your content.
You can view the proposed Budget at Council’s website, Council’s customer service centres and libraries or request a copy by emailing [email protected] or phoning 9278 4444. The final Budget will be considered for adoption at the Council meeting on Monday 27 June 2016.
With best wishes,
Councillor Jim Parke
Mayor of Boroondara