2017-18 Budget open for public comment

Published on 17 May 2017

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The Northern Grampians Shire Council 2017/18 Budget is now open for public comment.

The draft budget, along with the 2017/2021 Council Plan and Strategic Resource Plan, was presented to Councillors at a Special Meeting on Monday, where it was formally adopted by Councillors following a comprehensive discussion of its contents.

Mayor, Cr Tony Driscoll said the 2017/18 Budget was subject to a number of financial restrictions, including the State Government’s rate capping measures and the Federal Government’s prior freeze on Federal Assistance Grants.

“This is a conservative budget, which has been impacted by a number of financial constraints,” Cr Driscoll said.

“We are attempting to maintain our existing infrastructure, and to continue to offer services as best we can in a tight fiscal environment.”

Among the measures outlined in the 2017/18 Budget document are plans to balance a $13.2 m capital works and projects program with $4.5 m for Council infrastructure maintenance and a $2.9 m allocation for community and economic development services, including children’s services, aged care, recreation, leisure and libraries.

Other highlights include continued support of the Nectar Farms hydroponic project and the Halls Gap Master Plan, along with continued support of community events such as the Easter Gift, Grampians Grape Escape, Arts Trail, Grampians Wildflower Festival, Festival of St Arnaud, St Arnaud Country Music Festival, Great Western Rodeo, Stawell Gold Cup, St Arnaud Cup, Great Western Cup, Halls Gap Cup and Run the Gap.

Plans for the future of rate increases are also illustrated in the Council Plan, with Council determined to remain in line with the rate capping measures determined by the Minister for Local Government for the remainder of its term, while also outlining a number of major objectives for the next four years.

Both the budget and the council plan are available to view online via these links Budget-2017-18.pdf(PDF, 10MB) and2018-2021 Council Plan-Strategic Resource Plan 2017-2021 , while hard copies are available to view in person at the Stawell Town Hall and the St Arnaud Customer Service Centre. The documents will remain open for public comment for the required 28-day period, with submissions open until the close of business on Thursday, 22 June.