Manningham Council’s 2015/2016 Annual Budget and Strategic Resource Plan and Annual Initiatives 2015/16 have been adopted in principle and are on public exhibition until 21 May.
Manningham Mayor Cr Paul McLeish said “More than two years have passed since this Council was first elected, and in that time there have been new opportunities, pressures and challenges which continue to influence Council’s decision making.”
“These include the effects of a weaker global and national economy, Federal and State government revenue reductions, continued pressure from cost shifting, increasing construction costs, increasing demands in frontline service delivery and community expectations.”
“In this challenging environment, this Council has been implementing strategies to cap the growth of operating expenditure. Limiting the growth of operational expenses has in turn limited rate rises, while still preserving our investment in community assets.”
“To that end we have been very successful, and I am pleased to note the total rates and charges bill for the average residential property in Manningham for 2015/16 will increase by only 3.53 per cent ($64.15) or $1.23 per week.”
“This is the lowest increase in more than a decade and continues the downward trend we established from the outset of our council term,” he said.
Manningham Council’s draft 2015/16 Annual Budget, allocates $86 million to deliver services and a further $34.5 million to the capital program.
“Through the capital program budget, we will continue to invest in the renewal and upgrade of our community assets, and the development of the City's infrastructure”
Some highlights are:
- Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre upgrade $5.16 million
- Upgrade of Tindals Road $2.40 million
- Road related refurbishments including reseals and resurfacing $4.77 million
- Drainage improvements to protect properties from inundation $2.96 million
- Refurbishment and upgrade of Council's community buildings $2.33 million
- Planning and design of the new Mullum Mullum Highball Stadium $0.70 million
- Mullum Mullum linear path upgrades - Park Road to Heads Road $1.39 million
Cr McLeish said that through the 2015/16 Budget and Strategic Resource Plan, Council will continue to deliver high quality, responsive, value for money services.
The major initiatives outlined in the Strategic Resource Plan for 2015/16 are:
- The implementation of the Live Well in Bulleen Community Strengthening Project to promote better health outcomes and minimise social isolation and disadvantage.
- The completion of the remaining one kilometre of the Mullum Mullum Creek Linear trail.
- The continuation of Council's advocacy for improved public transport options for Manningham including heavy rail to Doncaster.
- Concept planning and community consultation for the Mullum Mullum Stadium.
- The final stage of the Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre redevelopment including the construction of new indoor pool, expanded health club and the redevelopment of the entrance foyer and the skybridge from the carpark.
- The investigation of options to centralise Council's customer call centre to improve service delivery.
Cr McLeish said “Council has a strong track record of taking a responsible and transparent approach to managing its finances, in line with community expectations, and setting a sustainable approach to delivering services and infrastructure improvements.”
“However, the State Government’s intention to introduce rate capping from mid 2016 will place considerable financial pressure on all Victorian councils. Rate capping will constrain revenue levels and this will impact service delivery as well as our ability to maintain and improve infrastructure in the municipality.”
“Setting annual rates cannot be seen in isolation from other non-CPI cost drivers. State and Federal Governments contribute to the pressures for increases in your rates through the impact of long term cost shifting, grant reductions and increased charges. For example: Library funding contributions from the State Government have continually declined over the past decade as a percentage of total operating costs from 40 per cent in 2002 to 17 per cent in 2014/15.
“If the State were funding libraries at the 2002 ratio of 40 per cent, Council would be able to decrease its call on rates by $640,000.”
“There is limited information on how rate capping will work and thus to what extent it will impact Council and the community. The State Government will be consulting stakeholders, through the Essential Services Commission, to develop a framework for rate capping. Manningham will be making a submission,” he said.
Copies of the draft Annual Budget and Strategic Resource Plan are available on Council’s web site, at the Civic Centre, Municipal Depot and public libraries in the municipality.
The public exhibition period commences on Thursday 23 April 2015 and concludes on Thursday 21 May 2015.
Residents are invited to make a written submission:
- online at Your Say Manningham
- by post to:
Manningham City Council,
PO Box 1, Doncaster 3108
Written submissions must be received by Council by 5.00 pm on Thursday 21 May 2015.
- Submissions received will be reproduced in Council papers that are publicly available.
- Submissions should clearly state whether you also wish to make a verbal presentation to a Committee of Council in support of your written submission.
A list of all submissions received will be presented to a Committee of Council on Tuesday 2 June 2015 and verbal presentations will be heard at that time.
The 2015/16 Annual Budget and Strategic Resource Plan are scheduled to be considered for adoption by Council on Tuesday 23 June 2015.
For more information about the draft budget, please contact Council’s Finance Services Unit on (03) 9840 9333.
If you have a question about how to lodge a submission, please contact Council’s Strategic Governance Unit on (03) 9840 9333.