Golden Plains Shire rates expected to jump for services, programs

RATES and charges in Golden Plains Shire could be increased by 6.8 per cent if the council’s draft budget is approved.

The 2014-15 council budget is set to be released next week and will be available for public viewing and community comment.

Golden Plains Shire mayor Jenny Blake said the council had shown restraint throughout the budget preparation process.

She said the council recognised the importance of having a broad view of the wider community’s needs.

“The 2014-15 budget provides for rate restraint while also supporting the vibrant and connected communities that make Golden Plains a place where farmers, families and business can plan with confidence for the future,” Cr Blake said.

Cr Blake said the council would spend a total of $48 million dollars over the next 12 months in order to deliver a range of services, programs and infrastructure projects.

Programs and services will include $12.5 million to road and street infrastructure, $7.7 million to recreation and community spaces and $7.8 million to human support services.

The council has also budgeted $6.9 million to economic development and tourism, $376,000 to its emergency management responsibilities and $3.7 million to environmental and land management. It has also budgeted to receive 41.7 per cent of its total revenue from grants.

“Council will continue to lobby for funds to support development and growth in our region,” Cr Blake said.

“However, as in recent years, the reliability of state and federal government grants is not certain. 

“Council cannot rely on other levels of government to invest more strongly in our region and therefore our financial strategy must reflect the current economic circumstances.

“It is up to us to support and stimulate our local economy.

“This budget is a reflection of the progressive strategic direction council has adopted.”

Copies of the prepared budget will be available for inspection online from Tuesday, April 29. For more information, visit goldenplains.vic.gov.au.

dellaram.vreeland@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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