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Infrastructure winner in budget

A huge 85-cents in every $1 of total revenue is set to be spent on community infrastructure. Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Kate Taylor

Out of the $31.002 million in total revenue, Moorabool Shire Council is set to spend 85-cents out of every one of those dollars on community infrastructure, if the proposed 2019-2020 budget is approved.
A total of $26.848 million will be spent on community infrastructure, with a rate increase of 2.5 per cent.
The increase is in line with the annual inflation rate set out by the Consumer Price Index, CPI, upon which rates capping is based.
Councillors voted at a Special Meeting of Council held on Wednesday 15 May, to now put the budget out for public comment for 28-days.
In a prepared budget preamble however, East Ward Councillor John Keogh said that a lack of state government funding has meant that council has strict cost control measures and the budget does not deliver on everything that the community wants – but also, the budget makes council sustainable.
“This focus on cost control introduced over the last number of years has continued with this budget and unfortunately, we cannot deliver everything in the 2019/20 year and as part of the papers provided tonight have included the proposed 4-year financial plan outlining the future allocation of resources,” Cr Keogh told the meeting.
“Challenges exist going forward for Council to continue to deliver the broad range of services it currently provides, and this can be seen by the underlying result in future years. As a Council we are working with officers to ensure Moorabool continues to deliver a financially responsibility budget that can meet the needs of our growing community.”
Cr Keogh said this at times is a balancing act and like all Councils, need the support of different levels of government to ensure the people of Moorabool are not disadvantaged.
The infrastructure spending in the budget helps close the infrastructure and depreciation gaps that have plagued council since amalgamation.
Cr Keogh said they have a calculated depreciation of $10.326M and was extremely pleased to report that the renewal capital replacement is $10.599M which is 102.6 per cent.
“What this means is that the overall condition of our assets will improve from what it is now. The ratio of capital renewal expenditure to depreciation is a fundamental statistic on how our Council manages our municipal assets. Very few Councils ever achieve a figure such as this,” he said.
For the proposed 2019/20 budget, Moorabool is continuing to invest significant resources into public assets.
“For this budget, the Capital works program of $26.858 Million is one of the largest in the Shire’s history. For the four years of the program, Council is investing over $95.3 million in public assets. To help maintain our existing assets, more than $46.6 million of this has been invested in the renewal and upgrade of the existing assets throughout the Shire,” Cr Keogh concluded.
Councillors Tom Sullivan, Pat Toohey and Dave Edwards were apologies at the meeting, with the remaining four councillors voting to put the draft budget out for public comment.
Once all feedback is received, Council officers will collate the information and provide a full report on all submissions to Councillors.
All parties who make a submission are invited to speak at a public meeting to be held on 26 June, in the Ballan Council Chamber.

Capital Works Program Highlights

*The continuation of works at Bacchus Marsh Racecourse & Recreation Reserve. A further $2.786 million of additional funds added toward the overall project.
*$1.608 million for Sports Field Lighting at Ballan, Gordon, Wallace, Bungaree and Dunnstown.
*Road Rehabilitation Works at Old Melbourne Road, Dunnstown – $1.304 million.
*Road Rehabilitation Works at Werribee Vale Road, Maddingley – $1.300 million.
*A $1 million contribution towards works for Gas Connection for Parwan Employment Precinct.
*The continuation of streetscape works in Inglis Street, Ballan – $750,000
*Pre-planning works for a Bacchus Marsh Indoor Recreation Facility – $550,000