25 May, 2023
Draft budget invites feedback
Yarriambiack Shire Council’s draft 2023/2024 Annual Budget was approved for public notice at the council meeting held on Wednesday, and is inviting community members to review the document and submit their feedback. The draft document provides...
Yarriambiack Shire Council’s draft 2023/2024 Annual Budget was approved for public notice at the council meeting held on Wednesday, and is inviting community members to review the document and submit their feedback.
The draft document provides full details of the resources required to deliver the services and initiatives identified in the Council Plan.
It is the third budget supporting the strategic objectives outlined in the Council Plan 2021- 2025, and details the program initiatives and activities that align with each priority.
Yarriambiack Shire Council mayor Cr Kylie Zanker and chief executive Tammy Smith will be touring the municipality to meet with community groups and residents ahead of the 2023/24 Council Budget’s final approval.
“The opportunity to meet with the community and discuss the draft budget and priority projects for the upcoming year allows us to provide greater detail to each community about what’s important to them,” Ms Smith said.
“With 6,511 residents and 4,824kms of roads, each budget is a balancing act between meeting the needs of each community with the limited resources we have.
“We understand we can’t do everything, but with our long term financial plan and Council plan, we can ensure that what we are achieving each financial year is prioritised and aligning with Council’s long term goals and vision of a connected community who values its land and wellbeing.”
The presentation at Council’s meeting outlined which sectors make up the majority of the estimated $11.9m worth of capital improvements scheduled for the 2023/24 year.
Roads and Infrastructure takes the largest chunk of the Budget at 57 per cent, followed by Buildings and associated Infrastructure (30 per cent), and plant and equipment (12 per cent).
The rate cap for the 2023-24 budget is 3.5 per cent, with Councillors agreeing to maintain the differential farm rate at 62.5 per cent of the General Rate.
Overall, with the differential rate being maintained, the combined rates derived from residential will decrease by one per cent, commercial will decrease by 11 per cent and farming will increase by five per cent.
Council has developed an informative video that outlines how rates are calculated, which is available on their website.
Ms Smith said the community presentations provided insight into the key financial considerations that shape the budget.
“It is estimated that this financial year over half (51 per cent) of our revenue is made up from Grants, so our advocacy work is very important to the ongoing financial stability of Council,” she said.
“Rates and charges (45 per cent), user fees and fines (3 per cent) and other revenue make up the estimated $32.7m of revenue for the financial year.
Cr Zanker said the budget also took into consideration the current state of finances and economics in the area.
“We have been conscious of the current financial and economic environment we are operating in, and this budget reflects a conservative approach to project delivery,” she said.
“We have taken into consideration the rising cost of raw materials, lack of available skilled trades people and decreased funding opportunities, when considering our projects and programs for the next financial year.
Ms Smith said the key theme for the upcoming budget would be the completion of many projects across the shire.
“We’ve got a number of large projects at various stages that will be the focus for the upcoming financial year,” she said.
“These projects have such an impact on the community - we’re excited to see continued progress throughout the year and look forward to seeing it completed in the upcoming financial year.
“Council will continue to focus on the identification of sustainable cost reductions to protect existing service levels. This is being supported by analysing existing services to ensure, where possible, they are cost neutral to the operations of Council. This enables us to redirect funds to capital improvements and priority community projects”, Cr Zanker said.
“The proposed budget was developed through a rigorous process of consultation and review and Council endorses it as financially responsible. I encourage you to read the remainder of this document, in conjunction with the Council Plan 2021-2025 and I look forward to receiving your submission”, Cr Zanker added.
Community members have the opportunity to provide feedback until 5pm on Wednesday June 21 2023, either:.
• In person at the upcoming Community Consultations (see page 8 for a list of meeting times and places), or
• In writing to CEO Tammy Smith on email@example.com, or PO Box 243, Warracknabeal VIC 3393
After consideration of public submissions, the budget will be reviewed and adopted at the June 28 Council Meeting.
The draft budget is available to view on Council’s website at www.yarriambiack.vic.gov.au/Engage-With-Us/Share-Your-Feedback.