Annual Report highlights great community outcomes in face of pandemic

Baw Baw Shire Council has published its 2020-21 Annual Report of Operations and Financial Report following their noting at last night’s Council Meeting.

Council is committed to transparent reporting and accountability to our community. The Annual Report of Operations and Financial Report clearly detail Council’s performance, achievements, and financial statements over the 2020-21 financial year.

Despite a second year of operation amidst the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report reveals great community outcomes across a range of priority areas as well as a strong financial position.

Major outcomes are categorised by Council’s four strategic objectives of Vibrant Communities, Thriving Economy, Safe and Sustainable Environments and Organisational Excellence.

Highlights include:

Vibrant Communities

  • A $2.2 million upgrade to the soccer field and surrounds at Baxter Park in Warragul. The state-of-the-art facility features a FIFA certified synthetic playing surface, drainage, fencing, playing equipment and storage, accessible access ramp and stairs and compliant accessible car parking spaces.
  • Completed the $1.57 million redevelopment of Drouin Civic Park, with the assistance from the Latrobe Valley Authority’s Community and Facility Fund and a contribution Drouin and District Community Bank.
  • Constructed a new $502,782 skate park, multi-play recreation space and RV parking area in Rawson in partnership with Regional Development Victoria.

Thriving Economy

  • Continued to deliver the outcomes of the Better Approvals Project and business support through the dedicated Business Support Concierge role.
  • Delivered a streamlined outdoor dining process to help businesses adapt to the State Government directives during the pandemic
  • Delivered the Local Councils Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, waiving all outdoor dining and activation permit fees and the development and deployment of the Baw Baw Eat & Explore platform and campaign.

Safe and Sustainable Environments

  • Installed solar systems at Trafalgar Business Centre, Exhibition Hall, Warragul, and the Drouin RSL, as well as upgrading the solar system at Yarragon Public Toilets and the expansion of the solar system at West Gippsland Arts Centre
  • Converted 1,230 old and inefficient streetlights to the most energy efficient LED lighting

Council adopted:

  • The Chemical Free Parks Trial
  • The Tree Risk Management Policy
  • The Revolving Sustainability Fund Policy and Reserve
  • Open Space Maintenance Standards

Organisational Excellence

  • Implemented a new road maintenance customer dashboard on Council’s website that allows customers to gain real-time information about various road maintenance tasks
  • Completed 7,104 road maintenance tasks
  • Administered nearly 4,000 building approval and information applications, 35% more than the previous year
  • Commenced Gender Equality Act 2020 response by implementing the People Matter Survey to support the development of Council’s Gender Equity Action plan.

The Annual Report of Operations and Financial Report are available now via Council’s website.

Quote attributable to former Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“As a Council, our job is to proudly serve our community’s best interests. Looking back over the year, I can say with confidence that we have done so.

I’d like to thank my fellow Councillors, Council staff and our residents and ratepayers for their resilience this year. Despite the challenges, we have accomplished much together. I look forward to what we will achieve in the year ahead.”

Quote attributable Mayor Cr Michael Leaney

“Looking at the Annual Report and Financial Report for last year, I am delighted with what’s been achieved despite the challenges. We’ve delivered great outcomes for our community, and our financial position is strong.

The past couple years have not been easy for our community, and I think I speak for everyone when I express my gratitude that we are now approaching something like a new normal. I’m looking forward to pushing on this year to further our key priorities – indeed we’ve already begun.

As a Council, we are committed to fighting for the needs of our growing population. We need a new hospital. We need more social infrastructure like the proposed Civic Precinct. We need upgrades to our roads network. We need to support projects that attract tourism and investment in our area. It’s about time we got the support we need from the State and Federal governments and we are going to do everything we can in the year ahead to see that we get it.”

Quote attributable to CEO Mark Dupe

“From a service delivery perspective, it’s all about outcomes for our Community. Each year the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Region conducts a Community Satisfaction Survey to compile the community’s feedback on Council performance across a range of categories.

For Baw Baw Shire Council, this year’s results showed improvements in every single category. From consultation and engagement, to condition of sealed local roads, to customer service, through to overall Council direction and performance, we increased our rating from the community across the board.

I am proud of these results, but the pride is not personal. Rather, it is pride on behalf of the more than 400 hard-working people at Baw Baw Shire Council who come to work every day to deliver for our community.

The outcomes and achievement of the past year – the successful delivery of more than 100 services, the completion of $22.2 million in capital works across 151 projects, the recognition from our community of the positive impacts it has all made – are the product of their collective contributions.

So, to all our staff, to the Executive team, to our volunteers and to our Council, I want to say thank you for your dedication to proudly serving our community over this past year. It may not have been easy, but it has certainly been rewarding.”

/Public Release. View in full here.