Council adopts community focused Annual Budget 2020/21
Published on 19 August 2020
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said “on behalf of my Councillor colleagues, I am pleased to present the 2020/21 Adopted Budget”.
“Each year we seek to steward the resources that our community entrusts us with to responsibly and effectively deliver on the priorities of our Council Plan and its four key themes of Our Place, Our Connectivity, Our Prosperity and Our Wellbeing.
“This year presents significant challenges for Council and the community, as we face the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic together. Council is determined to achieve economic and social recovery for the Peninsula, but it will take a sustained collaborative effort to overcome the hurdles we are facing as a community” Councillor Hearn added.
“Council’s finances have been sharply impacted in the first half of 2020 and we’ve had to make over $3 million in operational savings so far. We estimate a further reduction of $6.4 million in income for this new financial year and we have worked hard to deliver a fair and balanced budget under these difficult circumstances”.
“Despite these difficulties, we continue to deliver close to the lowest average rates and charges in Victoria while delivering the services efficiently. Throughout the next financial year there will be no wage increases for staff and no reduction in services for the community”.
Community and business support has been top of mind in the development of the budget. Some of the key support initiatives include:
- Waiving all non-commercial sporting club lease/licence fees for 20/21.
- Ongoing support to organisations that lease council facilities on commercial terms via lease payment waivers or deferrals.
- As part of our business support package we continue to provide financial relief for footpath trading and licence fees with fee waivers up to 31 December.
- Bathing Box fees have been standardised and reduced.
- The ongoing monitoring and review of our financial hardship policy, providing rate relief for people and businesses in our community who have a significant reduction in financial capacity due to COVID-19.
- Significant council resources will continue to be allocated to our ‘Caring for our Community’ program which includes delivering care packages to vulnerable and isolated community members
- We continue to advocate to state and federal governments for additional funding to match the Shire’s contribution and support a suite of shovel ready projects to kick start our economy.
“I would like to thank all those community members who made a submission to the draft budget. Your feedback has helped ensure this budget truly reflects your priorities. I would also like to thank my fellow Councillors for their input and the council officers involved for their expertise and diligence".
“Additionally, Council is committed to economic stimulus projects for our community with a capital works budget of $50.9 million for 2020/21. This follows $96 million in capital works delivered or contracted in the last financial year, all which helps sustain and boost our economy during COVID-19 and provide much needed local employment, and improved amenity for the community" concluded Councillor Hearn.
- $1.1M to towards the Briars Conservation Park
- $4.4M for bushland and foreshore reserves management
- $1.8M towards climate change mitigation and adaption
- $5.7M towards roadside vegetation management and arboriculture
- $2.4M for maintenance of stormwater infrastructure
- $3.6M for maintenance of street furniture and signage
- $8.4M for township beautification and cleaning
- $33.1M in waste services
- $4M for road resealing and rehabilitation works
- $12.4M towards roads, pathway, traffic and transport management
- $1.2M towards school crossings in high risk locations
- Over $1.5M across economic development and tourism programs designed to promote the region, industry development and visitor servicing
- $11.2M towards Our Aquatic Centre completion
- $1.6M for arts and culture
- $400k for the implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan
- $3.1M towards child and family health and youth services
- $5.6M towards aged and disability services, senior citizens’ services, meals on wheels and home-based services
- $3.2M for libraries
- $6.6M active and passive open spaces maintenance
- $5M for aquatic and recreational facilities
- $1.3M for the tennis strategy implementation
The Priority Projects Program of $4.4M includes:
- $100k – Hinterland Environmental Water Scheme: Feasibility Study
- $100k – Social Housing Projects Facilitation
- $400k – Climate Emergency Program to support strategic objectives
- $360k – Biolinks Weed Management
- $100k – Heritage Review - Stage 4
- $75k – Dromana Community Hub Business Case
- $40k – Strategic Plan for Libraries
The state government sets out the maximum amount Councils may increase rates in a year. For 2020/21 the rate cap has been set at 2.0%.
The Adopted Budget includes changes to some elements of the Rating Strategy, recognition of properties under Trust For Nature, removal of the Rural Living Rate and an increase to the Waste Service Charge.
A full copy of the 2020/21 Adopted Budget can be downloaded at mornpen.vic.gov.au/budget.