Council outlines Draft Budget for 2018/19 Financial Year

Published on 11 May 2018

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Mildura Rural City Council has prepared a Draft Budget for the coming Financial Year and is now inviting the community and ratepayers to have their say on it.

Councillors adopted the Draft 2018/19 Budget at a Special Council Meeting yesterday, with Mayor Mark Eckel saying it represents a financially responsible approach to delivering the dozens of services, infrastructure and facilities Council provides. All Council Budgets are funded through a combination of rates, fees and contributions from State and Commonwealth Government towards services and activities that benefit our community.

The $115.02 million Draft Budget will be funded through $24.65 million in State and Federal Government grants, $69.70 million in rates plus income from fees, charges, contributions and other sources.

“The community and people of our region rely on Council for many vital services and we are committed to continuing to provide these to ensure our residents’ wellbeing,” Cr Eckel said.

“The proposed Budget for the 2018/19 Financial Year also includes a number of new initiatives and many capital works projects which will significantly improve the region’s roads, parks, open spaces, drainage infrastructure and waste services.”

Highlights include:

  • $8.47 million to renew and upgrade sealed and unsealed roads including major reconstruction works, 50km of gravel resheeting and 50km of resealing.
  • $2.57 million for parks, open spaces and streetscapes including landscaping at the Mildura Marina and redeveloping the next phase of the Deakin Avenue median strip.
  • $1.52 million for waste and recycling services including a recycling compacting machine for Murrayville Transfer Station and environmental capping at Mildura Landfill.
  • $5.24 million for drainage infrastructure including upgrades to Murrayville’s drainage system and CCTV condition assessments and repairs to stormwater drains.

“These projects are important to not only continue providing and improving services and facilities for residents, but to attract new residents and businesses, ensuring the ongoing growth of the region,” Cr Eckel said.

He said Council was very conscious of cost pressures faced by the community and had committed to keeping rates increases to a minimum. As such, rates are proposed to increase by 2.25%, which is line with the State Government’s policy on Rate Capping.

“Over the past eight years we have successfully worked to reduce the amount by which rates increase each year, from 6% in 2011/12 to just 2.25%.”

Cr Eckel said the organisation continued to battle ever increasing cost shifting by state and federal governments onto local communities as well as other external factors beyond our control.

“A significant cost that we hadn’t anticipated has come as a result of the Chinese government’s ban on the importations of certain recyclable goods,” Cr Eckel said.

“This is impacting the recycling industry across the board and while we don’t currently know what the fall out will be for us locally, we are planning ahead and budgeting an extra $700,000 to cover anticipated increased processing costs.

“Unfortunately we have no choice but to pass this cost on to ratepayers if we want to sustain our kerbside recycling services. Therefore an extra $28 would be applied to the Waste Management Charge of each eligible ratepayer to offset these costs.”

Council’s Draft 2018/19 Budget is now on public exhibition and Cr Eckel encouraged the community to review it and provide feedback.  Copies are available online at www.mildura.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay, at Council Service Centres and Council Libraries.

Written submissions on the Draft Budget can be made up until 5pm, Monday 11 June via email to mrcc@mildura.vic.gov.au or posted to Mildura Rural City Council, PO Box 105 Mildura, VIC 3502.