The COVID-19 pandemic presents us with unprecedented challenges. These challenges are far reaching and can take a serious toll on the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of people in our community.
It is my privilege to present to you the 2020-21 Council Budget. The budget reflects our community-focused roadmap for achieving our vision of building a more vibrant Boroondara. Every ratepayer dollar must meet current and future needs of our community in a clear, accountable, and transparent way and respond to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the forefront of this budget is continuity of service and financial agility to enable Council to respond quickly in a dynamic environment. We remain committed to helping those who need it most through our $4.5 million COVID-19 support and relief package. Council’s support services, such as our COVID-19 hotline, are in place now to help our community.
Investment continues in the Boroondara Customer First program to better meet increasing community expectations for rapid and responsive digital engagement with Council. The investment so far, has successfully enabled Council to transform various service delivery from physical to digital, and has already proven its worth by better supporting the health and wellbeing of our community during COVID-19. New digital hubs such as the Active Ageing and Family portals, continue to be embraced by our community, increase social, and service connectedness and put time back into your day.
Council’s budget will deliver on promises made to our community to build a better Boroondara. Over $80 million in capital works projects will provide a significant boost to our local economy, and much needed jobs at a time of rising unemployment. This is our ongoing commitment to our future.
We are excited to announce, the new $68 million Kew Recreation Centre redevelopment will commence shortly. The innovative design responds to consultation with over 2,000 members of our community. This state-of-the-art centre will have better facilities, more activity spaces to support people of all abilities, an underground car park and be built to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
We are pleased to announce a revitalised community precinct for Canterbury which will provide a one-stop destination to access valuable services, programs and activities. This precinct will have updated facilities while protecting and preserving the neighbourhood heritage, and character of the existing buildings for future generations to enjoy.
We are proud that this budget responsibly addresses our broader community’s input on the environment. We are commencing community engagement on our Climate Action Plan this month, which you can read more about in this edition. This is one of many innovative projects Council is embarking on to become even more sustainable. We are already benefiting from great results achieved from implementing our new Food Organics and Garden Organics waste service. Council is diverting 69% of waste from landfill - the equivalent of 20 waste trucks per week. This benefits our environment and reduces your waste charge. Further waste charge reductions are expected in the years to come.
Council’s 2020-21 Budget delivers on our commitment to build a better Boroondara for you. Every decision we make, and every dollar we spend on your behalf, goes towards supporting and delivering services important to you, because the Boroondara community is at the heart of everything we do.
Cr Cynthia Watson
Mayor of Boroondara