2019-20 proposed budget released for feedback

3 April 2019 - Media release

Campaspe Shire Council has released its $81.8 million proposed budget for community feedback, supporting a $29.4 million capital works program, with an operating surplus of $439,000.

Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said this budget was financially responsible and continues to deliver existing services at current service levels.

“This was a challenging budget to develop within the limits of the 2.5 per cent rate cap,” Cr Weston said.

“Council delivers more than 100 activities to our community and we need to balance between those activities that the community needs and the funds available, which is an ongoing challenge.”

“It also delivers an operating surplus of $439,000 to provide for continued investment in community infrastructure.”

This year the average rate rise will be 2.5 per cent in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System.

“Rate income is an important revenue stream at 45 per cent and allows council to maintain existing service levels,” Cr Weston said.

“Waste charges are also important, at 8 per cent of our revenue, funding the collection of kerbside bins, paying the state government’s landfill levy, operation of transfer stations, monitoring of former landfills and collection of street litter bins. The budget supports the introduction of food organics into the garden waste bin from 1 July. Moving waste from landfill will reduce the impact on the environment and turn this valuable resource into compost.”

The budget proposes new borrowings of $3.8 million to support three projects bringing council’s overall debt to $8.1 million. Two projects – Waranga Trail and Murray River retaining wall - are dependent on funding and approvals, with borrowings to be taken up if required.

The third project, extension of the council offices in Echuca, will require borrowings of $1.9 million.

“The major component of this project is being funded by Court Services Victoria, which will see the Function Room and shared spaces handed over, in return for an extension and new entry to the north of the building,” the Mayor said.

“This will achieve entry separation of court and council services, addressing current safety and security issues. In addition, council will add to the extension project to enable Echuca based staff to move into the one building.”

“This will achieve the last stage of office relocations and achieve savings by completing both projects together.”

“This level of debt still keeps us well within the acceptable limits for a council of our size and structure.”

Capital Works Program

The $29.4 million Capital Works Program supports more than 70 projects, a snapshot of some are:

$13.1 million to roads including:

$847,000           Rushworth streetscape works, median strips, footpath, drainage, road surface, kerb and channel

$236,355           Gunbower, Murray Valley Highway service road (north)

$2,500,000        Corop Wanalta Road, reconstruction of 6km section

$59,500             Dalton Road floodway, Barnadown, reconstruction

$765,000           Toolleen Axedale Road widening stage 2, 1.6 kilometres

$101,000           Kyabram Environment Centre, seal access road

$2,644,500        Gravel resheeting of local roads

$1,544,500        Resealing of local roads

$3 million to bridges including:

$215,000           Gunbower, Watson Bridge maintenance

$456,000           Milloo, Falls Bridge replacement

$956,000           Rushworth, Groves Bridge renewal works

$340,000           Mitiamo, Swamp Bridge maintenance

$73,000             Gobarup, Raglus Bridge maintenance

$3.4 million to drainage including:

$950,000           Rochester, maintenance to open concrete drains

$270,000           Stormwater pipe and pit maintenance program

$597,500           Rushworth, Rushworth Murchison Road open drain maintenance

$1.8 million to recreation and leisure including:

$51,000             Lockington and Colbinabbin outdoor pools, repaint shell

$544,500           Kyabram Breen Avenue, walking cycle trail

$46,500             EWMAC, starting blocks

$124,000           Lockington Recreation Reserve, storage facility

$2.8 million to public buildings including:

$90,000             Building energy efficient projects

$245,000           Kyabram, replacement of the roof at Kyabram Plaza Theatre

$109,000           Rushworth, Rushworth Hall roof maintenance

$128,500           Campaspe Animal Shelter, kennel sound proofing, exercise area shade, reception works

$556,800           EWMAC, ceiling replacement and insulation

$1,583,000        Echuca council offices extension

Operational projects are also funded through the budget, some include:

  • Developing of an Aquatic and Leisure Strategy
  • Supporting the introduction of food waste into the garden organics bin service from 1 July
  • Finalising the planning scheme amendment to implement the Echuca West Precinct Structure Plan
  • Continuing to lobby for improved rail services on the Echuca-Rochester-Bendigo rail line and alignment to timetabling with regional bus services
  • Supporting the Victorian Electoral Commission in reviewing electoral representation

Have your say on the proposed budget

“I encourage you to take a look at the budget and make a submission, everyone’s opinion is important and it is a great way to bring your ideas to council for consideration,” Cr Weston said.

All submissions must be received in writing by 5pm on Thursday, 9 May. An online submission form is available from council’s website.

Council will consider public submissions at a submissions hearing on Tuesday, 14 May at 5pm at the Echuca Civic Centre Function Room. Submitters may speak to their submission if requested within their submission.

The 2019-20 budget will be considered for adoption at a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, 4 June at 5pm taking into account any submissions received.

Copies of the proposed 2019-20 budget are available for viewing on the council website at www.campaspe.vic.gov.au or in hard copy at any of council’s customer service centres at Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester, Rushworth and Tongala.