At a Special Council Meeting held on Wednesday 5 August, Council heard 26 community member and group submissions for consideration in the upcoming Council Plan, annual Budget, Long Term Financial Plan, Rating Strategy and Long Term Infrastructure Plan.
Overall, Council received 238 submissions from the community for consideration in finalising these plans for 2020/21.
This included 92 early submissions received in November/December 2019 identifying the community’s top priorities for Council, and 146 submissions during the formal budget exhibition period held in June/July 2020 in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.
Recreation and outdoor activities proved the most common theme with 51 submissions raised in support of developing plans for a cycling precinct at Logan Park in Warragul, 33 submissions requesting new and improved paths and trails, and 22 submissions for improved sporting grounds and facilities across the Shire.
Other common themes received budget submissions include:
Sport and recreation
22 submissions supported sport and recreation projects across the Shire. Submissions were received relating to clubs and projects at Eastern Park and Baxter Park in Warragul, Bellbird Park in Drouin, Trafalgar Tennis Club, Warragul Leisure Centre, Warragul and District Amateur Basketball Association, Gippsland Bulls Hockey, Warragul Swimming Club and Drouin Football Club.
16 submissions requested community infrastructure projects relating to street lighting and CCTV surveillance, public toilets in Drouin and Aberfeldy, improvements to the Drouin Library, the Old Shire Hall and Warragul CBD improvements.
Roads and footpaths
50 submissions were in support of new and improved roads, paths and trails in Drouin, Warragul, Rokeby, Longwarry, Erica, Rawson, Trafalgar, Walhalla, Willow Grove, Childers and Yarragon. Submissions were also received relating to parking improvements in Drouin township, the Drouin Cemetery, Alex Goudie Park and the Walhalla township.
5 submissions related to gambling reform, ongoing funding for the Communities That Care initiative and maintaining support for the arts including performing arts and theatre in regional areas and the West Gippsland Arts Centre.
Planning and development
10 submissions raised statutory and priority planning for developers, heritage preservation, preservation of natural environment, planning for the purchased former Yarragon Primary School site, land sales and purchases in Drouin and Warragul and continued development of the Arts Discovery Trail in Linear Park in Warragul.
56 submissions related to the ongoing strategic partnership with Larder Park, masterplan creation for tourism in Walhalla and Erica, infrastructure and equipment upgrades to support the Warragul Farmers Market, and support for developing plans for a cycling precinct at Logan Park in Warragul.
Submissions received relating to tree protection controls, street trees and environmental sustainability initiatives.
7 submissions referenced a fair and balanced farm rating strategy and support of a zero per cent rates and charges increase, and support for more effective rating differentials.
*Some submissions are included in more than one category.
Councillors and Officers will now work through all submissions and consider requests and projects for inclusion in the 2020/21 and future plans. The final Council Plan, annual Budget, Long Term Financial Plan, Rating Strategy and Long Term Infrastructure Plan will be presented to Council for adoption at the Wednesday 26 August Council meeting.