Coronavirus update 13 March 2020

Stage 4 restrictions: guidance and support.

The City of Boroondara’s Proposed Budget 2020-21 was presented at Monday night’s Council meeting, and will be available for public comment from 3 June until 1 July 2020 with submissions closing at 5pm.

The proposed budget is a roadmap to building a better Boroondara for future generations. The delivery of more than $80m in capital works projects will provide Victorians with jobs and deliver the local economy a much needed boost following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Council will continue to invest in community services and facilities, such as our libraries, healthcare, environment and climate change, aged-care services, family and youth services, recreation, parks, roads and more, so the City of Boroondara can continue supporting and strengthening the Boroondara community.

Mayor of Boroondara Cr Cynthia Watson said with the development of each budget, Council works diligently to balance the needs and priorities of our diverse and growing community in the city.  

“This year has presented us with unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - these challenges have been far reaching and have touched all Boroondara residents, businesses, community groups, and the wider community in one way or another,” she said.

While Council is not immune to these challenges, the provision of high quality infrastructure remains a priority in the proposed budget.

To deliver what we promised, and to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our diverse community well into the future, this budget will:

  • Continue funding COVID-19 support and relief activities, comprising multiple initiatives to ease the financial burden on the Boroondara community. This is part of Council’s $4.5m support and relief package, announced in April 2020, to support businesses and residents most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the 19/20 and 20/21 financial years. 
  • Construct a new community precinct in Canterbury at a cost of $11.3m. This new precinct will provide vital community services currently operating in various locations across Canterbury, with construction commencing this year.
  • Begin development of the new Kew Recreation Centre, which is projected to cost $68.04m upon completion. Following consultation with more than 2000 members of our community, we are excited to start work on this contemporary facility in late 2020.
  • Minimise our environmental footprint by investing over $4m on a range of initiatives including purchase of 100 per cent green renewable electricity for our buildings and street lighting, replacement of outdated lighting technology with more energy efficient LED lighting, replacement of inefficient heating and cooling systems, installation of solar photovoltaic energy generation systems, development of a climate action plan and upgrading infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We will continue to progress construction of a number of shovel ready significant projects. Both during and after construction, the Kew Recreation Centre, Canterbury Community Precinct and Camberwell Community Centre developments will create employment opportunities for locals and Victorians,” said Cr Watson.

The City of Boroondara’s high level of service provision to residents will continue.  These services include expenditure of:

  • $9.4m to provide library services seven days a week
  • $12.1m on aged, health services including immunisation and aged care support for vulnerable members of our community
  • $8.9m on family, youth and recreation services
  • $18.5m for parks and gardens, biodiversity and street trees maintenance
  • $3.3m on arts and cultural services and events
  • $11.1m for planning, development and building controls
  • $11.0m for maintenance of the city’s infrastructure including buildings, drainage, footpaths, roads and shopping centres.

Some other exciting initiatives include:

  • $1.05m for shopping centre streetscape improvement works at Cotham Village and Highfield Road
  • $2.6m for a regional playground at Victoria Park.

The budget includes a two percent rate increase in line with the State Government’s rate cap. This increase amounts to under sixty cents per week for the median value residential property in the city and is necessary to support the budget initiatives. Those for whom this may pose difficulties should contact Council to access support through our Financial Hardship Policy. Unlike other levels of government, Council has no capacity to increase its revenue in future years to recover either the $16m lost due to COVID-19 or a lower rate rise now.

Waste service charges in 2020-21 will decrease on average by 3.9%. The net costs of waste management and associated services are recovered by Council through the waste management charges. The decrease is primarily due to the completion of the introduction of a FOGO (Food Organics Green Organics) collection service to divert food organics from landfill in 2019-20.

“The proposed budget for 2020-2021 will ensure Boroondara remains a vibrant, inclusive city, and one in which our community feels proud to live in. This budget continues to implement the commitments contained in our ten-year Boroondara Community Plan, which was adopted in 2018 and developed based upon the feedback Council received from more than 11,800 residents. Council has coped with the impacts of COVID-19 through prudent financial management and it has many levers to pull should further unexpected issues arise within the ambit of the role played by a local government. 

“Every cent Council collects goes to supporting and delivering services to the community,” said Cr Watson.

Copies of the Proposed Budget 2020-2021 are available through Council’s website or by emailing [email protected].

Comments or submissions are invited from 3 June 2020 until 1 July 2020 at 5 pm and can be made via:

  • City of Boroondara website www.boroondara.vic.gov.au 
  • emailing [email protected] 
  • by mail Private Bag 1 Camberwell VIC 3124 

Public submissions will be heard at the Council meeting on Monday 13 July 2020. Following consideration of submissions, the budget 2020-2021 will be presented to Council for adoption.

For more information please call Eren Cakmakkaya, Media and Advocacy Specialist at the City of Boroondara on 0481 912 411.