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Budget 2021


Council planning for the 2021 Budget is now underway.  This year we would like to hear our residents' and ratepayers' early ideas for where and how to spend funds.


Council planning for the 2021 Budget is now underway and this year we would like to hear our residents' and ratepayers' ideas for where and how to spend funds.  This is the first of two opportunities in the 2021 Budget process for community input.  By calling for ideas early, it will allow time for assessment and consideration of your ideas for possible inclusion in the Draft Budget.  The Draft will then be released to the community for further review and comment in April/May 2020.


Community suggestions will be considered against the following criteria:

1.  Purpose

Proposals should identify with a purpose that connects to one or more of the following five themes:

- Community Benefit:  creating something that the local community will benefit from.

- General Efficiency:  improving the way we do something to make it simpler, quicker, easier.

- Cost Savings:  a project that will lead to proven cost savings either immediately or in the future.

- Revenue Generation:  an initiative that will earn income for the broad community either directly (to Council) or indirectly

- Legislative Requirements:  ensures compliance with a legislative requirement


2.  Cost 

Council will assess the estimated cost of the proposal over the entire life of the project.  If you have cost information we encourage you to submit this with your proposal to assist Council in this assessment. Council will attempt to validate cost suggestions against evidence wherever possible.


3.  Strategic Fit

Council operates in accordance with a variety of strategic plans, of which the Council Plan is key.  This document is a four year plan developed by Councillors within the first 12 months after an election.  The Plan covers the four year term of that elected Council and guides the direction of the Council for that period.  Proposals and suggestions will be evaluated against the Mansfield Shire Council Plan 2017-21 to identify which of the strategic objectives and goals the project will address or compliment.


4.  Operational Impact

Council will assess our current capacity to deliver or support the suggested project or service which includes looking at the staff, systems and processes required.



Council's budgetary processes are largely centered around legislative requirements of the Local Government Act 1989.

The diagram below outlines key milestones in the process.




Council's Budget is developed in three key stages.


Stage one: Business As Usual

Council will assess and cost all the services that are considered core community services, valued and needed by the community, as well as those we are required to deliver under legislation or contract, and those that are fully funded by external (usually State or Federal government) bodies.

Council will also determine the level of rate income leviable under legislation, and recurrent funding expected to be received from external bodies.

Business As Usual typically comprises about 90% of Council's operating expenditure each year and about 75% of Council's income.


Stage two:  Required Asset Expenditure, or CAPEX (capital expenditure)

Council will use service and maintenance modelling as well as condition assessments to determine the expenditure required to keep our existing assets and infrastructure in optimal condition.  This type of expenditure is called "asset renewal" and typically comprises about 60-80% of Council's capital budget each year.  


Stage three:  Other Discretionary Projects

Council will determine what available funds remain after stages one and two have been completed.  From this pool of funds, allocations can be made toward discretionary projects.  These can be new ongoing services (non-legislated), new assets or one-off projects.

Most community suggestions and initiatives are likely to fall into the discretionary projects stage of the budget development process.



The Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) Council strives to achieve financially over the long term (10 years) are:

  • Available funds (cash) of $3 million as at 30 June each year
  • Debt levels (borrowings to be repaid) less than 70% of annual rate income
  • A small operational surplus on average over the next four years
  • Breakeven, or better, cash result
  • Investment in renewing large assets (infrastructure) at least equivalent to depreciation

Each of these KPI's are explained in more detail in Council's Financial Strategy 2018 which can be found under the "Council Documents" section on our website.  All budget considerations are made with these long term goals in mind. 


Engagement Update

Engagement Update: 

14 January 2020 - This round of consultation is now closed

Early consultation has now closed.  Thankyou to everyone who visited a drop-in session or made a submission through the website or via email.  Officers are reviewing all the feedback received and will present suggestions to Council as part of the Draft Budget 2021.

There will be opportunity for further engagement once the Draft is released in April 2020.


18 December 2019 - Drop In Sessions are now complete

Councillors have now completed the facilitation of 7 Drop In Sessions of which four were in Mansfield at the library, and three were in outlying townships (Jamieson, Merrijig and Bonnie Doon).

Attendees were able to "drop in" and chat with Councillors about ideas for where and how budget allocation can improve our Shire.  All sessions were well attended and we received numerous suggestions.  All will be collated and presented formally in a public report to Council as part of the budget process in April 2020.

There is still time to make a suggestion - this first round of consultation closes 10 January 2020.  Details for how to submit your feedback can be found on this webpage.


2 November 2019 - Bush Market

Councillors were at the Bush Market in Mansfield on Saturday 2 November to meet with the community and hear feedback on a number of projects.

In relation to the Budget, the following suggestings were received.  You may like to support or counter these ideas, or use them as inspiration for your own submission.

  • safety concerns on Rifle Butts Rd
  • footpath at the Tolmie Rd end of Deadhorse Lane
  • embankment on Howes Creek Road
  • shoulders on the Barwite, Tolmie-Whitfield, Mt Buller and Jamieson roads
  • extend Old Tonga Rd to the Goughs Bay Rd as an emergency exit route in case of fire
  • reduce speed limit on Howqua River Rd to 60km/hr
  • grade and resheet Wairere Rd, Booroolite
  • stop spending
  • pay per frequency of use for kerbside waste service
  • shared walking pathway around Mansfield showcasing Aboriginal/Australian art and culture, and providing connectivity to services
  • heated year round aquatic facility
  • improved lighting inside the Visitor Information Centre
  • A TV at the Visitor Information Centre with USB capability or virtual reality



How You Can Be Involved

How You Can Be Involved: 

This engagement process has now closed.  There will be further opportunities for engagement when the Draft Budget 2021 is released in April 2020.


What Happens Next

What Happens Next: 

Community ideas received during the engagement period will be reviewed and assessed by Council in the preparation of the Draft Budget 2021 .

The Draft Budget 2021 will be presented to Council for endorsement at a Special Council Meeting in April 2020, and subsequently released for review and community feedback in April/May 2020. 

Reminder announcements will be made through Council's website, facebook page and local newspaper the Mansfield Courier in April 2020.



19 Nov 2019:  Early engagement opens for community suggestions to the 2021 Council Budget

 4 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Library, 10:30am - 12:30pm

 6 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Library, 9:00am - 11:00am

 9 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Library, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

12 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Library 12:00noon - 2:00pm

12 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Jamieson Memorial Hall 5:00pm - 7:00pm

16 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Merrijig Hall 3:30pm - 5:30pm

16 Dec 2019:  Drop In Session at the Bonnie Doon Community Centre (Old Library) 7:00pm - 9:00pm

10 Jan 2020:  Engagement for community suggestions CLOSED

14 Apr 2020:  Special Council Meeting to endorse Draft Budget 2021

15 Apr 2020:  Draft Budget 2021 available for public comment

12 May 2020:  Public consultation closes

26 May 2020:  Council hear and consider submissions to the Draft Budget 2021

23 Jun 2020:  Council adopt final Budget 2021




Contact Information

Mandy Kynnersley
Finance Manager
5775 8555
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