More than $43 million for community projects headlines Draft Budget

Baw Baw Shire Council is inviting the community to view and share their thoughts on a suite of key draft documents, including the Draft Annual Budget, which will guide Council’s investments and priorities for the upcoming financial year.

On exhibition from Thursday 18 April through to Wednesday 8 May, the key documents include the Draft Budget 2024/25, the Draft Long-Term Infrastructure Plan, the Draft Council Plan 2021-2025 Annual Review, the Draft Rating and Revenue Plan and the Draft Long Term Financial Plan.

It is the final budget of a Council term defined by the delivery of several major long-term projects, including the ~$12.5 million Warragul Leisure Centre Stadium Expansion, the $4.1 million upgrade of the Drouin Recreation Reserve Oval and the delivery of the Rollo Street Masterplan project in Yarragon, which will see the repurposing of the site of the old Yarragon Primary school into a valuable community open space with a shared loop path, shelter, park furniture, interactive play area, information signage, artwork, raised garden beds and established trees.

In 2024/25, Baw Baw Shire Council will continue to build on its plan, design and deliver approach, investing in important services and infrastructure to ensure a healthy and thriving community now, and into the future.

Council’s $43 million Capital Works Program details an exciting array of community projects happening across the Shire in the next 12 months, from major road upgrades to playground renewals, and refurbishments to popular community facilities.

This year also marks the final year of the current Council Plan, meaning some exciting opportunities for our community to join Council in the development of the next plan, are just around the corner.

Highlights of the 2024/25 Draft Budget include:

  • Baw Baw Culture and Connection Place Precinct Stage 1 – $5.00 million (subject to grant funding) (Total Project Cost $30.00 million)
  • Rokeby Noojee Trail – $2.10 million (Total Project Cost $4.00 million)
  • Rollo Street Masterplan – $1.00 million (Total Project Cost $2.00 million)
  • Warragul Streetscape Works – $1.90 million
  • Drouin Recreation Reserve – $3.62 million (Total Project Cost $4.10 million)
  • Copelands Road Upgrade – $1.52 million (Total Project Cost $4.60 million)
  • Gravel Roads Sealing Program – $1.75 million

Baw Baw Shire Mayor Cr Annemarie McCabe encouraged residents to maximise this opportunity to play a role in Council’s decision making by having their say on these important draft documents.

“This community engagement is a great opportunity for residents to share with us what their priorities are. Your input truly matters and is crucial to the process so Council can ensure it hits the mark and delivers what our residents want and need,” the Mayor said.

“This year, Council continues to balance delivering and providing our community with the services and infrastructure they depend on, while also navigating a somewhat unpredictable and high-cost economic environment.”

“Our Shire has a population of more than 62,000 residents, which is projected to grow to nearly 88,000 by the year 2041, meaning its more important than ever before to responsibly manage our budget to ensure we’re investing not only now, but into the future as well.”

For the first time this year, Council has an added challenge following a recommendation by the Minister for Local Government that local Council’s restructure their waste charge.

To align with best practise measures, Baw Baw Shire Council elected to follow this advice, despite it forcing Council to absorb more than $10 million in additional costs over the next 10 years. This is due to Council no longer being able to fund services such as street, footpath and kerbside drain cleaning and the provision of public bins from the funds sourced via the waste charge, but instead it will now need to fund these from other revenue sources.

Residents can expect to see a reduction in their waste charge this year. However, while the cost to residents will appear lower, the cumulative cost to Council from the State Government’s advice will have impacts on future budgets.

Cr McCabe said that despite this added challenge, Council continues to prioritise the needs of the community above anything else and invited residents and business owners to join Council in advocating to other levels of government for support.

“It’s clear how quickly our community is growing and changing and I’m urging anyone who lives, works or visits Baw Baw to join our advocacy campaign and call on the state and federal governments to inject more funding into our area to support Council in providing the added services and resources needed by our community.”

To have your say, your way, head to

/Public Release. View in full here.