I am pleased to present the Proposed Budget for 2019-20.
With the development of each budget, we work diligently to balance the range of needs of our diverse and growing community. I hope that you will agree with me that there is something for everyone in this Proposed Budget, which is open for your feedback during May.
The 2019-20 Proposed Budget has been prepared in response to Council’s commitment to providing what you told us is important to you, responsible financial management and the Victorian Government’s rate cap for 2019-20. This Proposed Budget continues to implement the commitments contained in our 10-year Boroondara Community Plan, which was developed based upon the feedback we received from over 11,800 residents, and was adopted by Council in 2018.
Through this Proposed Budget, we are making significant investments in a number of projects, including the implementation of a Food Organics and Green Organics service. Previously planned to be introduced in 2022-23, we have brought forward the delivery of this important initiative to the 2019-20 financial year in response to community expectation and environmental challenges. The service will allow you to put food and garden waste into the same bin, which is then collected as part of our kerbside collection service and processed into soil conditioning products. This change to our waste management practices will increase resource recovery and reduce landfill waste by up to 19,000 tonnes per year, contributing to a healthy, sustainable environment for generations to come.
We are also committed to the transformation of the way in which we interact with you, to ensure you experience convenience and ease when dealing with Council – be it using our services, accessing information or making transactions online. These commitments will provide you with the means to interact with us in your preferred way; anytime, anywhere, using any device. This will be key to delivering improved service and experience.
The provision of quality infrastructure remains a high priority in this Proposed Budget, with $75.6 million dedicated to the renewal and construction of community centres in the coming year. As our community grows and changes, these developments will ensure we can continue to meet your needs.
Some of these significant major projects, which will occur over the next few years, include:
- a new Kew Recreation Centre
- a new Canterbury Community Precinct
- an upgraded Balwyn Community Centre
- a redeveloped Camberwell Community Centre
- a new Ashburton Seniors Centre.
To further deliver a high level of service, we have continued to allocate funds towards aged care, disability and health services, library, family, youth, recreational services, and more. We will also continue to maintain our infrastructure at an appropriate standard, including drainage, footpaths and roads.
As we do each year, Council has set aside $800,000 for the open space acquisition fund. The availability of open space for passive and active recreation is limited in our City, and this fund is designed to acquire additional open space as the opportunity arises.
With these and the many other allocations in this Proposed Budget, we will deliver the things you told us are important to you. The Proposed Budget will ensure that Boroondara continues to be a great place to live; that Boroondara is a vibrant and inclusive City, meeting the needs and aspirations of its community.