Strathbogie Shire Council

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Landmark budget and Council Plan revealed

Tuesday, 27 June, 2017

A new program focused on maintenance of rural roads and an innovative push to grow the region are just some of the highlights of Strathbogie Shire Council's 017-18 Budget and 2017-2021 Council Plan, which was officially adopted on Tuesday, 27 June, 2017.

Rates will remain capped at two per cent, with an exciting incentive to help grow the Shire where those eligible for the State Government's First Home Owner's Grant ($20,000) receiving two years' rate free if they invest in the Shire.

Mayor Amanda McClaren said Council understands the Shire has been known as a high rating municipality in the past and a significant part of the rates revenue each year is committed to assets and infrastructure maintenance.

"The Strathbogie Shire is a large area of over 3300 square kilometres with over 2500km of roads, 507 bridges and culverts as well as over 160 buildings to maintain both now and into the future," she said.

"Council recognize that to share the increasing costs, we need to grow and attract new residents, so this innovative 'Rates Holiday' for First Home Owners will help the Shire grow."

The sum of $500,000 has been committed to a significant new program upgrading Class 0 roads to Class 1 in the Road Management Plan, so that they can be regularly maintained.

Cr McClaren said the commitment was in addition to the regular roads management budget allocation, aimed at improving road access for rural ratepayers with a 'Roads to Market' economic approach.

About 67km of these priority roads will be re-classified, with half that amount to be upgraded within the next 12 months.

Council's continued commitment to roads in 2017-18 also includes the following areas: road re-seals ($1.12 million), road rehabilitation ($1.309 million), road re-sheeting ($460,000) as well as bridge work ($3.443 million) and footpaths ($272,000).

The new Budget, Council Plan and Strategic Resource Plan come eight months after the new Council was elected, with Councillors working hard at engaging with the community in a number of ways to form the Council Plan, which will help guide Council over the next four years.

The community engagement campaign conducted by Council saw a series of Conversation Cafes take place throughout the region, online surveys and postcard submissions as well as numerous one-on-one meetings with ratepayers and a public submission process.

"Council wishes to thank all of the community who were actively involved in this strategic planning process. The Council Plan is full of ideas and initiatives that came directly from our community during the engagement processes," Cr McClaren said.

Among these ideas are a number of sustainable projects, including:

  • Sustainable Strathbogie 2030 - Council will have one reference document, with targets monitored by a Reference Group. The aim is to outline the principles, priorities and actions required to address Council and community on living sustainably into and beyond the next decade.
  • Recruitment of a Grants Officer - Council will employ a Team Leader - Tourism, Arts and Culture, who will manage and promote the grants program.
  • An Action Plan to reduce the use of plastic bags.
  • Incorporate the Gaming Policy Statement into the Municipal Strategic Statement.

Council has also revised its Strategic Resource Plan, which will establish a financial framework over the next four years to ensure Council's strategic objectives are met.

Among the key infrastructure items in the 2017-18 Budget are:

  • Kirkland Avenue footpath between Scobie and White streets, Euroa - $86,000
  • Nagambie Recreation Reserve amenities upgrade - $50,000
  • Tourism, Arts and Culture Strategy - $40,000
  • Memorial Oval Netball Court - $50,000
  • Violet Town Recreation Reserve toilets - $100,000

The 2017-18 Budget, 2017-2021 Council Plan and the Strategic Resource Plan can be viewed now on Council's website





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