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Published on 17 January 2023
The Advertiser 6 January reported on the setting of rate cap for Victorian Councils at 3.5% for the 2023/2024 year. Inflation is tracking at 7.3% and the cost of doing business for councils in specialised areas such as road repairs and engineering is considerably higher.
This adds to the challenge of councils in recent years of how to meet the expectations and needs of our communities with a constantly diminishing bottom line budget.
Council treats this issue seriously and although there is no easy fix, our efforts across our activities make a real difference.
We spend weeks on annual draft budget development assessing carefully key priorities. These are then tested with the community and we actively invite input to share our conclusions and welcome suggestions.
We work hard and successfully to seek grants to ensure continued progress with capital projects. Our Priority Projects Plan arguing the case for investment has been commended.
Systems improvement is given high priority with current grant funding being obtained for enhancements to our finance and work control systems following upgrade of our planning system.
Much deliberation goes into our Annual Action Plan and to those projects and activities which Council believes will best benefit our community.
Critically we are successfully planning for major growth and investment in land use planning, telecommunications, digital connectivity, freight and passenger rail, Maryborough Aerodrome as well as World Heritage Listing and Commonwealth Games opportunities.
Council confronts our significant challenges purposefully and creatively. It is good to see real progress.