Feedback invited on draft Community Vision, Council Plan and budget

Published on 18 May 2021

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A break-even budget that focusses on rebuilding the local economy, with a big capital works spend are among the highlights of Indigo Shire’s 2021-22 draft budget, which will soon be placed on exhibition for public comment.

Council tonight endorsed the draft budget along with the draft Council Plan 2021-2025 and draft 10-year Community Vision as well as a number of other strategic documents.

While the draft budget focusses on the next 12 months, the draft Council Plan sets out the key priorities for Council to focus on over the four years of its term.

Under the new Local Government Act 2020, all Victorian Councils must also develop a Community Vision, which has an outlook of at least 10 years and describes the community’s aspirations for the future of the Shire.

Mayor Jenny O’Connor said both the draft Council Plan and the Community Vision have been developed in partnership with the community. “Through drop-in sessions, online feedback, submissions and surveys we received constructive and well considered feedback from more than 220 individuals and organisations which has been used to shape both documents.”

In delivering the draft budget, Councillor O’Connor said economic recovery and helping local communities return to a new ‘normal’ have been front of mind.

“We’re proposing to invest an additional $110K to assist in COVID recovery activities and our capital works budget is one of our biggest ever, with a proposed spend of $15.9M. This increase is largely the result of grant funding to progress a number of major new projects,” Cr O’Connor said.

“These include the Chiltern Community Hub, Wahgunyah Multipurpose Hardcourts and Lighting Project, Kergunyah Hall upgrade and Beechworth Courthouse Kelly Trials Experience as well as a number of road and footpath improvement and safety projects.”

“We’ll also complete the 30km Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail as well as continue to deliver the range and quality of services our community expects, as well as maintain our many community assets and infrastructure.”

The draft budget also includes funds to support initiatives that address climate change, including progressing the key priorities from Council’s emissions reduction plan, the purchase of a second electrical vehicle and implementing more energy reduction initiatives in Council buildings and facilities.

Residential rates will be capped at 1.5% and increases in fees and charges will be in line with CPI.

“We’ve worked hard to deliver a balanced budget, by ensuring that we spend within our means and remain financially sustainable, not just for the next 12 months, but for the next ten years, Cr O’Connor said.

All draft documents endorsed by Council will now be placed on public exhibition and available to view and download from Council’s website, with hard copies available on request from Council’s customer service centres.

Anyone wishing to make a submission should address their submission in writing to the CEO by 5pm on Friday 11 June and email to info@indigoshire.vic.gov.au or by mail to PO Box 28, Beechworth 3747.

For those who wish to be heard in support of their submission, an Additional Council Meeting will be held at 6pm on Tuesday 15 June 2021. Council will then consider all submissions prior to adopting the final Council Plan and Budget at its meeting on Tuesday 28 June.

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