Without a doubt, the past year has been a challenging time for our local residents, businesses, community groups and the wider community in the City of Boroondara.
As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the impacts on municipal budgets, it is incumbent on us as a Council to continue to deliver on our promises, while meeting the diverse needs of our local residents and ratepayers.
Despite facing numerous challenges in 2020, for many of us, time spent closer to home during the pandemic emphasised some of the things we truly value - including about living in Boroondara.
Among them, our strong sense of community, our unique and character-filled suburbs and familiar streetscapes, our wonderful parks and open spaces and the ‘breathing space’ they offer us, access to vital services, infrastructure and recreation facilities, and more.
Our Proposed Budget 2021-22 seeks to strengthen our local community to recover from the effects of COVID-19, while investing in Boroondara to ensure we remain a vibrant, inclusive city, one which our community feels proud of.
We are progressing a number of important infrastructure projects, investing $99 million in the delivery of new and renewed community assets in the coming year, including:
- A major redevelopment of the Kew Recreation Centre to see it transform into a modern facility suitable for all ages and abilities ($68 million investment over four years, with the project set for completion in 2022-23).
- A new Canterbury Community Precinct , to provide early years services and community programs in modern facilities by restoring existing buildings ($11.3 million, set for completion in 2021-22).
- Upgrading our sporting pavilions to improve accessibility in line with our Diversity, Inclusion and Participation Program, including Canterbury Sportsground Pavilion ($2 million) and Rathmines Reserve Pavilion ($1.5 million).
- $2.3 million for a regional playground at Victoria Park.
Some other exciting commitments include:
- $14.04 million investment in transformation projects to enable more customers to connect with Council anytime, in their preferred way, using any device and receive a consistent customer experience.
- $800,000 for acquisition of open space where it arises, noting the importance of open space to the community for recreation during COVID-19 lockdowns.
- $3.61 million on a range of sustainability initiatives including heating and cooling upgrades and rolling out a 5-Star Green Star equivalent standard for new Council buildings, to help reduce our environmental impact.
We are continuing to invest in vital community services, including:
- $9.4 million to provide library services seven days a week.
- $8.3 million on aged care support for vulnerable members of our community.
- $8.7 million on health and wellbeing services including immunisation, youth and recreation services.
- $19.7 million for parks and gardens, biodiversity and street trees maintenance.
- $3.0 million on arts and cultural services and events.
- $11.1 million for planning, development and building controls.
- $10.3 million for the maintenance of the city’s infrastructure including buildings, drainage, footpaths, roads and shopping centres.
This proposed budget has been prepared in line with Council's commitment to sustainable budgeting, responsible financial management and the Victorian Government’s rate cap for 2021-22.
Through prudent financial management, we are well-placed to recover from the effects of the pandemic, while continuing to support our community through vital Council services.
The Revenue and Rating Plan establishes the framework for Boroondara to assist the implementation of the Council Plan and budget over a four-year period.
In line with the Victorian Government’s rate cap, this budget includes a 1.5 per cent rate increase amounting to less than 20 cents per week for the median value residential property in the city. This increase is necessary to support the budget initiatives and provide services.
This plan also informs other strategic documents such as the Long Term Financial Plan and Asset Management Plan, which support our vision in the Boroondara Community Plan, and we encourage you to view the documents on our website and share your feedback in writing.
Our Proposed Budget for the 2021-22 financial year was presented at a Council meeting on Monday 26 April 2021 and was open for public comment from Wednesday 28 April until Wednesday 26 May 2021.
Your input on our Proposed Budget 2021-22 and Revenue and Rating Plan 2021-25 is essential. Public submissions will be heard at the Council meeting at 6.30pm on Monday 7 June. Following consideration of submissions, the 2021-22 budget will be presented to Council for adoption.
For more information visit our budget webpage.