2020-21 Budget to Stimulate Local Economy: Council Seeks Community Feedback
Friday, 17 April, 2020 - 12:30
Being in a financially sound position and having received significant grant funds, Mansfield Shire Council has today endorsed its draft Budget for 2020-21 to help stimulate the local economy.
Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM said after the effects of the bushfires and no surety about the length or total impact of the Coronavirus on the community, Council sees its major projects as important in helping generate local employment while the Budget also focuses on containing operating expenses. The Budget will be reviewed over coming months as the financial impact of the virus is clearer.
“We can afford the projects included in the Budget and know that construction work will stimulate local employment, businesses and suppliers. At the same time, we understand our community is going through a very difficult time and likewise, the Budget shows how we will contain our operating expenses,” Cr Attley said.
“The proposed 2020-21 Budget is now open for public comment and we look forward to hearing from our community,” she said.
Cr Attley said on all the indicators, Council’s financial position is very strong. Council’s forecasted 2020-21 debt level is very low at 13% of income (target less than 70% of income) and its predicted surplus is $2.9m.
“Some of the key projects to be delivered next financial year will be more important than ever as we come out of current restrictions. Community resilience and connectivity will be supported by a 50% increase in funds for the Community Matching program, offering $30,000 next year,” she said.
“We have also allocated funds to construct the playground at the Botanic Park ($500,000), the dual court multi-use sports stadium (total $3.1m of which $1.846 comes from government funding) and the Lords Oval Pavilion ($990,000 of which $500,000 comes from government funding),” she said.
“Council typically delivers a capital works program of about $5-6m annually. The capital works program for 2020-21 will cost $11.5m. It will be funded with $3.8m from external grants and $7.7m from Council operations.
The capital works program also includes $3.7m for road renewal, with $591,592 from government grants.
“The themes of the 2020-21 Budget are Renew, Plan and Secure. Renewing infrastructure assets is important, as these are one element of the enhanced liveability which the Mansfield community values. There’s also a lot of planning to do this year, with elections scheduled for October and then the new Council will develop a community vision and Council Plan.
"Our long term forecasting indicates financial sustainability over the next ten years. We have planned for service reviews to identify efficiency and cost improvements where they exist. The rate increase is 2%, in l ine with the government's rate cap.
“The draft 2020-21 Budget is now on public display and we encourage as many people as possible to ask questions and / or provide formal feedback; either in support of, or opposition to the components we have included or omitted.
The 2020-21 Budget document is available on Council’s website and hard copies can be requested and posted. Public submissions will be received until 5pm on 12 May 2020.