Yarrawonga lands lion’s share of budget

May 10, 2017

Yarrawonga and the surrounding district looks set to receive just over $1 million for capital works after Moira Shire released its 2017/18 draft budget.

The first annual budget developed by the new council proposes an average rates increase of

2% in line with the Victorian Government’s rate cap, however council’s fees and charges including services such as kerbside waste collection and hire of council facilities, will increase by an average of 3%.

Council is proposing a $9.7 million capital works program, half of which is directed to the renewal and upgrade of the shire’s 4,000km local road network and bridges.

Mayor Gary Cleveland said the road network not only made Moira a great place to live but was vital to the local economy and tourism.

“More than $545,000 will be invested in our urban drainage works,” Cr Cleveland said.

“Our drainage networks literally underpin the ongoing growth and development of our towns, for residents and businesses.

“We will also deliver almost $1 million of works on assets that make our towns and communities great places to live and include upgrades and improvements to many of our parks, gardens community facilities, footpaths and cycle ways.”

The projects earmarked for Yarrawonga and the neighbouring towns of Bundalong and Tungamah are extensive with the Yarrawonga Aerodrome listed to receive $30,000 for the renewal of the lighting along the runway.  

The Tungamah Road between Telford Road to Quinane Road will receive $120,000 with work returning the road to an appropriate width which has successfully met the requirements of the community for many years.

The tables at the Yarrawonga Town Hall will be replaced with lighter and more durable models at a cost of $12,000 with the Hall also receiving $150,000 after a recently conducted electrical audit detailed works were required on the main switchboard.

Damaged timber boardwalks at the Yarrawonga Wetlands will be replaced with an additional investigation to install a more economical alternative to wood, costing $75,000.

The Shire Offices at Tungamah will receive $30,000 to replace the ceiling and Bundalong looks set to receive a $140,000 multipurpose concrete court to replace one of the tennis courts at the Recreation Reserve.

The proposed Yarrawonga Library project is set to receive $200,000 to facilitate a detailed design of a new library and $5,000 has been allocated for the planting of trees along the Murray Valley Highway on the eastern entrance to Yarrawonga.

Construction of a granitic sand walking/cycling track along Burley Road between the Yarrawonga Swimming Pool and Piper Street will be undertaken at a cost of $30,000. Woodlands Park will have a barbecue installed to the tune of $15,000 and $10,000 has been set aside for lighting the car park area at Victoria Park with solar lighting to be examined as a potential solution.

Lastly, $200,000 has been earmarked for the construction of a new public entrance into JC Lowe Oval.

Project highlights for the rest of the shire include the development of change rooms and other facilities at Apex Reserve Cobram ($450,000); detailed design of levee banks around Numurkah to follow completion of the Flood Study ($250,000); Murray Valley Highway road works at Blake Street, Nathalia and in Strathmerton; stage 1 reconstruction of Naring Road, Numurkah ($300,000); plus a council contribution to a town clock in Nathalia ($20,000).

According to Cr Cleveland the breakdown of the capital budget emphasised the ongoing tug-of-war between maintaining existing services and funding new and emerging needs.

“Whether it’s the community’s capacity to pay or rate capping, there is only so much we can fund and we need the community’s feedback on whether we are getting the balance right,” Cr Cleveland said.

Cr Cox emphasised the fact there were no new borrowings in the draft budget, with council continuing to wind down its debt.

“We have to live within our means and we have to identify key projects that need to be addressed,” Cr Cox said.

“If we hold onto our reins we will be debt free at the end of this term of council.

“We simply can’t please everyone but as a council we try our best and we are heading in the right direction.”

To encourage feedback from all ages and interests, Moira Shire Councillors will host drop-in

sessions in Yarrawonga, Cobram, Nathalia and Numurkah beginning Tuesday, May 16.

Yarrawonga’s sessions are on Tuesday, May 16 beginning at 1pm then again on Thursday, May 26 beginning at 6pm.

Full session details including venues are available on from the Moira Shire website or phone 5871 9222.

People can provide feedback online, by mail, email or at the service centres in Yarrawonga and Cobram.

All submissions must be received by 5pm June 1.

A Special Meeting of Council will be held on Monday, June 5 for those who wish to speak to their submission; following consideration of any submissions, the Council Budget will be presented to council for possible adoption at a Special Meeting of Council on Wednesday, June 14.

The draft 2017/18 Budget is available online and on display at council’s service centres.

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