Golden Plains Shire has released its proposed draft budget for 2016-17, with upgrades to its road infrastructure the main focus.
The draft proposes to allocate $16.5 million for the construction and maintenance of road and street infrastructure, which has been a key concern for residents in the shire over the past few years, particularly around Smythesdale and Napoleons areas.
The proposed draft also budgets $12.1m for the development of recreation and community spaces, $8.3m to human support services, including children, aged, disability and maternity support, $3.4m to managing council’s environmental and land use planning and $2.5m for waste collection and disposal service management.
Council held three focus group sessions last year to discuss priorities for the upcoming budget, with the response pointing strongly toward the need to improve roads and facilities.
The 2016-17 draft proposes an average rate increase of 2.32 per cent per assessment, which falls under the state government’s new Fair Go Rates System, which has capped rate increases by Victorian councils to 2.5 per cent.
Golden Plains Shire mayor Des Phelan said sacrifices had to be made to allow council to meet the rate cap.
“While council has not elected to apply to the Essential Services Commission for a variation, it should be noted that it has had to make some one-off capital reductions to achieve this result,” Cr Phelan said.
“Council will continue to focus on identifying sustainable cost savings that will enable it to deliver high quality, responsive and accessible services to the community, and maintain a community first attitude.
“Councillors examine the budget in depth each year and are always considerate of the impact rate rises have on rate payers. This year their considerations included community priorities as discussed in focus groups held late last year.”
The draft budget can be viewed on the www.goldenplains.vic.gov.au/budget website.
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