Conservative Budget Amid Ongoing Cost Pressures

At today’s Council Meeting Bass Coast Shire Council endorsed its 2024/2025 Budget. This is a balanced budget that maintains affordable and stable revenue sources and manages capital efficiently. Importantly, it delivers on the needs of our growing community by maintaining, enhancing and expanding Council’s asset base.

Through prudent management and increased efficiencies, Council will sustain its level of service to the community and maintain rates within the State Government rate cap of 2.75%.

Bass Coast Mayor Clare Le Serve said Council had worked hard to deliver a responsible Budget for the next financial year in the face of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, increasing expenses and inflation across all sectors of the community.

“This is a conservative and responsible Budget given the current economic climate, which is placing an additional financial burden on the greater community and stretching households beyond their means,” Cr Le Serve said.

“Council has not been immune to rising costs, but we have responded to economic headwinds by continually seeking efficiencies in the way we operate to minimise the impact on ratepayers.

“The forward indicators confirm that under this Budget, Bass Coast’s financial position will remain sound with ongoing operating surpluses and important investment in capital works.”

The Budget provides for total expenditure of $105.2 million, including $24.1 million on capital works. It projects an operating surplus of $3.16 million, with a small underlying deficit of $49,000 attributed to increasing expenses, which are sitting at levels well above the State Government mandated rate cap of 2.75% and declining non-rates income growth.

Amongst Council’s investment in capital works is improved community access to new tracks and trails across Bass Coast, sporting field upgrades, and the renewal of council buildings, bridges and roads.

The Budget also includes $13.4 million to improve our network of roads and pathways, $10.9 million for leisure and recreation facilities, and $8.1 million for upgrades to community facilities.

Cr Le Serve said Bass Coast was one of Victoria’s fastest growing regions and had experienced population growth of almost 2.2% in the past year.

“As well as the many people who call Bass Coast home, our region continues to be one of the most loved holiday and tourist destinations in the country,” she said. “We attract a growing number of visitors and holidaymakers each year so it is important that Council invests adequately in tourism and community facilities that will serve generations to come.

“We will continue to advocate the State and Federal governments for support to deliver major intergenerational capital projects well into the future.”

Cr Le Serve said Council remained committed to the environment; building community resilience against the impacts of climate change and a collective response to reduce emissions.

“Continuing our organics bin for the disposal of household food waste is invaluable. This initiative has enabled Bass Coast to divert more than three-quarters of its waste from landfill – a sector leading achievement of which we are very proud,” she said.

“We will also provide public electric vehicle fast-charging stations across the shire, prioritise council fleet EV charging stations, and will deliver up to $40,000 funding for climate action projects a year in the community grants program this coming year.”

For more details about the Bass Coast Shire Council 2024/2025 Budget, visit here. Budget | Bass Coast Shire

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