Financial Plan 2021-31

The Financial Plan reports what council is projecting to spend over the course of the next ten years in order to continue to deliver services, maintain and renew existing assets as well as build new infrastructure. It provides a financial view of the next 10 years for council of:

  • what we will do
  • how much it may cost
  • how we will fund it

We have an obligation to our future community, and we want to ensure we can respond to future events, opportunities, and pressures. Every dollar spent over the next ten years will need to be matched by an equivalent income source.  Sourcing sufficient income to fund the projected expenditure is important to demonstrate that the Financial Plan is sustainable over the ten year period.

We want our community to understand how the Financial Plan is put together, the decisions involved and where the money goes to deliver services to the community. Pressures on our budget are changing all the time, which means we are always making decisions about what is in and out of the budget – we don’t want to spend more than we can afford! 

Review Session

Online Review Session

Wednesday 6 October from 5pm to 6pm

The Financial Plan 2021-31 Review Session for the Northern Grampians Shire Council Financial Plan 2021-31 will be held online via Microsoft Teams webinar due to Coronavirus restrictions.

This review session will present the final draft of the plan to our community. During this session we will:
  • summarise feedback from the online information sessions and the online survey
  • show how the feedback is being incorporated into Financial Plan where appropriate.
  • explain to community why some feedback could not be incorporated into the plan
  • give the community opportunity to provide further feedback at the meeting
  • indicate cutoff period for submissions in writing regarding the plan prior to the adoption of the final draft of the Financial Plan at the unscheduled Council meeting on Monday 25 October

The review session is the penultimate stage of community engagement. Following the review session, a two week final feedback period will commence. This will be the last opportunity for the community to provide their opinions to Council on the Financial Plan. 

To participate online: 

Computer or Mobile Web Browser 
 Audio only  
 Call 02 8318 0074 Phone Conference ID: 463 493 917#  
For audio sessions, please stay on hold until asked to record name then simply follow the prompts to participate. Microsoft does not supply a local number option and call charges will apply. 



Community Questions

Here are the questions that our panel has been asked on the call, and the answers our Council attendees provided:

  1. Regarding the survey were Council staff excluded from survey to prevent pecuniary interest?

    Answer: No, Council staff were not excluded.

  2. I was wondering is there room to decrease discretionary expenditure on tourism?  It seems to me that Halls Gap is already pumping when open and there is already staff shortages in the area and room density limits on food outlets.  

    Answer: Council have recently reviewed Visitor Information Centre contracts and will be, from 2022, moving the service in-house to reduce costs.

  3. Are there any plans to index rate increases evenly between each sectors going forward - not just the Agricultural sector?

    Answer: Council are currently reviewing the Revenue and Rating Plan in preparation for next year's budget. This is a comprehensive review of all aspects of rating.

  4. What is the $11 million capital works/Parks for 2024/25 to be used for?     

    Answer: The current Long Term Financial Plan has the Heath St, Hall Gap, Bridge installation earmarked for the year 2024/25. Current breakdown of the project is $10.2M budgeted with $10M expected to come from unconfirmed grant sources. That will make up the bulk of the $11 million package planned for 2024/25. 

  5. While the Plan reveals and reports “ongoing underlying deficits” it is also seen within the Financial Policy Statement that: “Allocate adequate funds towards renewal capital in order to replace assets and infrastructure as they reach the end of their service life.” Target is 100%. This on the face of it seems fine except if we look at what actually happens such as when it comes to renewal of sports facilities, bridges etc. that replacement usually has a large contribution from state government. This is in the nature of the shires relationship with the state government. So in reality the state government is bearing some of the renewal burden. A change here could have a large effect to the “ongoing underlying deficits”. So is the target of 100% justifiably appropriate and can we better identify and report the aspects of state government support in this area of renewal?  

    Answer: Council have adopted a 100% target to allocate adequate funds towards renewal of capital of assets and infrastructure; anything less might be perceived as knowingly creating a gap in funding for this renewal. The 100% target is consistent with the preferred targets identified by the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) performance measures. However, Council is aware of the reduced likelihood of achieving such a high target; some other Councils set percentage targets under 100% so that any potential achievement is made more viable. Council will be undertaking an asset planning exercise to evaluate the long term cost impacts of renewing its infrastructure assets. This will help inform the renewal target going forward, potentially making it more realistic. With regard to State Government support, grant funding is generally intended to support new or expended assets rather than designed to support the renewal of existing infrastructure.

Plan Endorsement

At the conclusion of the community engagement sessions, the final version of the Financial Plan 2021-31 will be presented to councillors at the 25 October Council meeting for endorsement.