Councillors adopt 2020-21 Budget
Published on 30 July 2020
Mildura Rural City Councillors this week adopted the 2020-21 Budget, setting in motion Council’s plan to provide services, support, facilities and upgrades throughout our municipality in the next 12 months.
Key points in the budget include a $1.5 million Community Recovery Fund to support social and economic recovery from COVID-19, a $50.74 million capital works program and $1 million for an Instrument Landing System at Mildura Airport.
The significant capital works program includes:
- $24.32 million on building and building improvements, including the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct, Old Powerhouse Theatre refurbishment and upgrades to the Lake Cullulleraine Multipurpose Centre
- $13.25 million on roads projects, including removing sand drift from roads in the Millewa and resealing more than 90 kilometres of sealed road network
- almost $6 million in drainage works.
The budget outlines a two per cent rate increase in line with both the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates cap, and many other municipalities across Victoria.
It also includes consideration of 20 submissions from the community.
Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence said development of this year’s budget came at a challenging time for the municipality given the ongoing social and economic impacts of COVID-19.
“Developing a budget that provides more than 100 essential services throughout our massive municipality, continuing to improve and upgrade services for our community, and ensuring residents’ capacity to pay rates is always difficult,” Cr Clemence said.
“The impacts of COVID-19 have made this already difficult task even harder this year.
“We certainly recognise many residents and businesses in our region are doing it tough at the moment as a result of COVID-19, which is why we’ve allocated $1.5 million specifically to help these residents.”
Cr Clemence said while Councillors were acutely aware that any rate increase is not welcomed by the community, it was a necessary element of the budget.
“I’m a ratepayer, my fellow Councillors are ratepayers, so we understand and feel the impact whenever rates increase, even though in many cases residents will find the actual dollar amount their rates will rise is minimal this year,” he said.
“However, Council as an organisation has not been immune to the financial impacts of COVID-19, nor is it unaware that there are many in our community in need of targeted support as a result of the pandemic.
“This year’s rate increase will allow us to ensure facilities and services our community needs and values are maintained.
“Importantly, it has also allowed us to allocate $1.5 million specifically for those who need help the most, rather than offering a minimal or token amount to many.
“It’s about targeted support for residents who need it, while providing the services and facilities our community rightly expects of our organisation.”