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27 June 2017

Key community projects will be delivered

Indigo Shire Mayor Cr Jenny O’Connor said tonight the Budget for 2017-18 would ensure that Council could achieve key community projects in the new Council Plan.

 The Budget and the new Council Plan, which has had significant input from the community, were adopted at tonight’s Council Meeting.

 “Our Council Plan 2017-2021 acknowledges our heritage with a review of our museums and historic collections and implementing actions from the Heritage Strategy. But we are also looking to the future and have included actions to drive tourism and economic growth, support innovation, encourage less use of non-renewable resources and deal with the impact of climate change,” Cr O’Connor said.

 “This is in line with our new Vision, Indigo: Heritage Shire – Bold Future, which supports the addition of a new section in the plan of Environment and Sustainability.”

 Cr O’Connor said that some community input for the Council Plan meant Council would need to review several key plans and strategies.

 “So, we will be reviewing our Recreation Plan and investigating options in line with community requests for sporting infrastructure including hockey facilities for this growing sport, and we will conduct a review of our play parks across the Shire,” she said.

 “Other actions include providing more opportunities for our young people and for them to link with businesses to develop their skills and leadership, and to continue to attract, support and acknowledge our many valued volunteers.”

 “One of the larger key infrastructure projects in the next financial year is the start of a 2-year project to build the Beechworth to Yackandandah and Osbornes Flat rail trail,” Cr O’Connor said.

 “This is a $6 million component of the North East Victorian Cycle Optimisation Project. This cycle tourism project will draw significantly more visitors to Indigo Shire, and is joint-funded by the State Government as part of their recent $12 million announcement, with a $1 million contribution from Indigo Shire over two years.”

 Other Council Plan actions include:

  • Completing the Yackandandah skate park 
  • Creating a structure plan for the development of Barnawartha
  • Finalising the Stanley township rezoning
  • Engaging with our indigenous people and building indigenous engagement into our new Tourism Strategy
  • Supporting creative endeavours such as art shows and exhibitions
  • Reviewing the Indigo Planning Scheme particularly in relation to water extraction and light industrial areas
  • Completing the Rutherglen Economic Revitalisation Project
  • Creating a firewood plan to regulate the collection of firewood
  • Implementing elements of the Chiltern Placemaking Plan
  • Completing the walking track from Wahgunyah to Lake Moodemere
  • Placing solar facilities at Yackandandah and Beechworth pools.

 Cr O’Connor said Council would continue to deliver those services that are synonymous with Local Government such as road sealing, gravel road resheeting, drainage, footpaths, building maintenance, waste collection and advocating to other governments for projects that can’t be delivered by Council on its own.

 She said the Council had to adjust to a tightening financial environment in recent years, which continues with the State Government’s mandated rate capping, set at 2% for the 2017-18 year.

 “The continuing permanent impact of the rate cap makes it very difficult for small rural councils like Indigo to juggle the competing demands of maintaining a financially sustainable budget with the community’s desires for projects and infrastructure.

“In the coming years of this term, we may have to face some harsh realities with service cuts or a request to the State Government for a rate cap variation.

“But for this coming financial year, I believe we have managed to balance all interests as well as we can, given the financially stringent times we find ourselves in.”




For further information:
Contact Cr Jenny O'Connor
Phone 0417 126 409