At last night’s Council meeting, the City of Boroondara’s Council Plan 2017-21 (including the Strategic Resource Plan 2017-21), Rating Strategy 2017-21 and Budget 2017-18 were presented for adoption.
Our Council Plan 2017-21 will be significantly reviewed in the coming year, informed by the outcomes of an extensive community engagement program for the City’s 10-year community plan. The outcomes of this work will guide a major update of this Council Plan in mid-2018.
An ongoing priority for us has been the Boroondara Customer First program which is transforming the way we work to meet community expectations in an increasingly digital world.
I am extremely proud of our new website and thank the many residents who contributed to its development through customer journey mapping, design, and rounds of user-testing to better meet your needs.
This is so much more than a website, this is phase one of a much larger commitment to open up Boroondara to our residents. The next phase will provide more opportunities for self service, a great news service and a community engagement platform where all with an interest in Boroondara will have a voice and be able to share ideas, aspirations and pain points with Council and fellow residents. Our investment in this digital transformation will ensure our community’s interactions with us are increasingly seamless.
Our strong focus is on making Boroondara a great place to live, work and play - which means ensuring our facilities continue to serve evolving community needs. The $235 million expenditure budgeted for 2017-18 demonstrates this ongoing commitment to building a better City, now and for the future.
In line with our financial strategy to allow reinvestment, the projected surplus of $26.9 million in 2017-18 means we are well placed to maintain and renew the City’s $3.4 billion community assets. This financial strategy, including surplus, contributes to the funding of a $66.6 million capital works program for our community in 2017-18.
The coming year will see the completion of the North East Community Hub, as well as the redevelopment of the Balwyn Library. Consultation and planning will also take place on three major projects: the Balwyn Community Centre, Kew Recreation Centre, and Kew Library redevelopment.
Significant construction projects in this year’s budget include:
- $10.9 million for construction of the North East Community Hub, to be completed in 2017-18 ($16.5 million total cost of project)
- $4.3 million to complete construction of the Balwyn Library redevelopment in 2017-18 ($8.9 million total cost of project)
- Consultation and planning will also commence on three other major projects in 2017-18: the Balwyn Community Centre, Kew Recreation centre, and Kew Library redevelopment.
Other major initiatives include:
- $10.5 million to improve Council’s online services and Digital Strategy implementation
- $1.0 million for the ongoing program of improvements in small shopping centres
- $1.65 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Council buildings (three year project with a total of $2.4 million)
- $256,000 on a Boroondara-wide heritage assessment (five year project with a total expenditure of $1.3 million).
Along with new projects, we continue to fund and offer a range of ongoing services to the community.
It takes more than 150 services to keep our City looking great and our community safe, healthy and supported for all life stages. In 2017-18, our high level of service provision to residents will continue and will include expenditure of:
- $8.8 million to provide library services seven days a week
- $13.4 million on aged, disability and health services. Services include immunisation, aged care and disability support for vulnerable members of our community
- $4.9 million on families and youth services such as maternal and child health
- $11.1 million for parks and gardens, biodiversity and street trees.
- $2.9 million on arts and cultural services and events
- $9.6 million for planning, development and building controls.
To deliver quality services, Council maintains infrastructure at an appropriate standard. In 2017-18, it will deliver:
- $4.4 million for drainage renewal
- $2.6 million on footpath and cycleway renewal and maintenance
- $11.3 million on road renewal and maintenance
- $14.9 million across 34 other community building renewal works.
Ultimately, the main hallmarks of this Council term will be commencing implementation of our 10-year community plan, plus delivering on our digital transformation program. With ongoing community input, we will continue to meet the challenges and opportunities along the way towards achieving our vision for this great City.
Cr Phillip Healey