Budget open for submissions: Campaspe Shire


Campaspe Shire Council last night endorsed its draft 2023/24 budget which is now open for community feedback.

Mayor Rob Amos said the draft budget had been a complex and difficult one given the impacts of the October 2022 floods that followed closely on from the COVID-19 pandemic and its uncertainties.

“Budget planning reflects a commitment to long term financial sustainability and while we are planning to incur a deficit budget for the next few years, we are prioritising areas where our community has strongly advocated for improvement, with a firm focus on reviewing services for value and efficiencies,” Cr Amos said.

“Dealing with extreme weather events is something we have sadly had to learn a lot about, and we are committed to supporting people to resume their livelihoods as well as plan for the future. That comes with expenditure on recovery and rebuild efforts,” he said.

Council’s budget spend of $92.2m incorporates a significant capital works allocation of $27.4m to deliver essential infrastructure, with $9.86m allocated to renewal and priority works across Council’s road network compromising 1100km of sealed, 2051km of gravel and 867km of earth roads.

Cr Amos said Council had consulted with the community over the last year on a range of topics including the progression of several place based plans that are in development or nearing completion and the draft budget had been shaped by many conversations, including those in response to the devastating impacts of the October 2022 floods. This was further highlighted in the most recent Customer Satisfaction Survey with the community prioritising flood mitigation and rebuilding of roads and transport infrastructure.

An investment in graders, trucks and rollers will support and improve the standards and maintenance of gravel roads and shoulders, and boost capacity to maintain an increased number of parks and gardens with an additional 15.9 hectares of open green space to care for, as well as ensuring town entrances and signature spaces are beautified and maintained.

Council has proposed an average rate increase of 3.5% in line with the Victorian Government’s rates capping constraints, noting the actual increase for each ratepayer will vary according to the valuation rate on individual properties undertaken by the Victorian Government annually. Rates form 50% of the total revenue of $86.3m, with waste charges accounting for 7% of revenue, total grant programs at 21%, user fees of 18%, interest at 3% and statutory fees and fines at 1%.

In addition to the capital works required in response to the floods, the capital works allocation of $27.4 million to deliver essential infrastructure includes:

  • Community and recreation enhancements ($1.7m) – including the Echuca East Redevelopment – Bike skills area and the final stage of the Rushworth (Waranga) Trail
  • Road improvements, footpath replacement, repairs, and kerbside replacements, including new plant and equipment ($15.2m).
  • Echuca Aerodrome upgrade ($3.2m)
  • Playgrounds, parks, and gardens and recreation facilities ($1.1m).
  • Storm Water and flood control ($1.9m)
  • KyValley Hall toilet and entry upgrade ($52,000)
  • Toolleen Recreation Reserve Netball Courts ($304,000)
  • Upgrade of the skip bin loading bays at the Colbinabbin, Lockington and Toolleen Resource Recovery Centres ($742,000)
  • Disability Discrimination Act compliance works (shire wide all abilities accessibility works) ($106,000)

The budget also includes an increased allocation of funding to a number of tree management programs, to ensure best practice tree management and to mitigate potential risks associated with trees in public places.

The budget is aligned to the Council Plan 2021-2025, and introduces resourcing to deliver both existing and new strategies including:

  • An Economic Development and Tourism Strategy
  • A Cultural Diversity Strategy
  • A Customer Service Strategy
  • Development of Township Facilities Plan for towns which have had their Place Based Plans endorsed by Council
  • An emissions plan to assist in the implementation of Council’s Environmental Strategy
  • Library Services Strategy
  • Additional grant opportunities for community houses and an increase to Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) halls and Campaspe Libraries.

“Preparation of the annual budget is one of Council’s most important strategic responsibilities. It’s now time for the community to tell us whether we have the balance right and I encourage members of the community to review the proposed 2023-2024 budget and provide any feedback they would like Council to consider prior to formal adoption of the budget in June,” Cr Amos said.

The key dates for the budget submission, consideration and adoption process are as follows:

  • Tuesday, 9 May – draft budget released for public comment
  • Thursday, 1 June 5pm – public submissions close. All submissions must be in writing and can be made via an online form on the website, or by emailing [email protected] Please indicate whether you would like to talk to your submission at the submission hearing.
  • Tuesday, 6 June: hearing of submissions.
  • Tuesday, 20 June: Council meeting to consider adoption of budget.

The budget is available on Council’s website at www.campaspe.vic.gov.au

/Public Release. View in full here.