Moira Shire councillors unanimously approved the 2017-18 budget which featured a rate rise of 2%, a waste service increase of 3% plus a $9.7 million capital works program.
In a report submitted to council and approved by CEO Mark Henderson it said the capital works program included $7.4 million for asset renewal, $1.2 million for new assets plus a further $1 million for upgrades and expansions.
“Highlights of the capital program include roads and footpaths investment of $5 million; drainage, kerb and channel works of $1.2 million; and buildings, plant and machinery of $2.4 million,” the report said.
“Council received 26 written submissions in response to the statutory consultation process.
“The budget includes further reduction of council debt and no additional borrowings.
“The budget maintains council’s sound financial position and provides a good balance between new projects and the need to maintain existing infrastructure.
“Existing service levels have been maintained through careful control of operating costs.”
Cr Ed Cox moved the recommendation to approve the 2017-18 budget and said he would like to particularly thank the submitters.
“They were some of the best submissions presented to council,” Cr Cox said.
“They had certainly done their homework and they were all prepared to work with council to tick the box to begin a project.
“This budget has projects for the smaller communities and we certainly have listened to these communities, and while they are not big ticket items, they are critical to the smaller communities.
“There has been a little bit of lag left over from last year and our capital works budget is slightly lower but I’d like to thank my council colleagues for working to get this up.
“I would also acknowledge the role of CEO Mark Henderson and CFO Simon Rennie for giving us a black and white picture of our finances.
“Dare I say it we are in the best financial position we have ever been in.”
Cr Libro Mustica spoke in favour of the budget saying the smaller communities in the shire needed to be supported.
“The submissions were presented very professionally,” Cr Mustica said.
“I understand the budget has its limitations but it needs to be shared equally.
“As a new councillor I did not realise the complexity of the shire’s budget.”
Cr Peter Lawless said he was pleased to note the spread of capital works projects hadn’t been dominated by the major towns.
“It’s good we have been able to allocate $20,000 to a Yarrawonga Sports Stadium study,” Cr Lawless said.
“The amount of work those people have put in so far, it is good to see council supporting this.
“Funding also to the GRAINStore and Yarrawonga Mulwala Arts is a great initiative and it creates another avenue of interest in the shire.
“We are also getting some funding to Jubilee Park in Tungamah which is long overdue and will be a real bonus for that community.”