Whitehorse News - July 2020
Council’s Annual Budget 2020/2021 was adopted at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Monday 22 June 2020.
Councillors noted that:
- many in our community have experienced job loss, business and other loss of income
- the pandemic is not over, and there is still uncertainty about its impact on our local community, economy and on Council
- there are many worthy new projects and new business initiatives which otherwise may have been included in this budget, including projects relating to food waste, active transport and other sport and community facilities.
Nonetheless, Council kept to a baseline budget to ensure essential services, upgrades and existing capital works can continue.
It approved the Budget, with only a few amendments or updates recommended by officers. This included accounting for the State Government’s decision to delay the increase in landfill levy. The only new projects included in the operational budget were those required due to statutory or audit obligations, and our pandemic response pieces.
In April, Council announced the $2 million relief package, which allows support for rate payers needing extra time and provides rental and utilities relief to some Council tenants.
In addition, Council approved a $2.5 million Recovery and Stimulus package. It will provide direct support to local businesses, sporting and community organisations to assist them to recover and get back to usual activities.
Further, the budget provides an operational budget of $162 million for the delivery of services to the community including $16.38 million for Sustainability, Waste and Recycling (kerbside collection, environment), $16.10 million for Home and Community Services (home support, meals on wheels), $12.22 million for Health and Family Services (child care, immunisation, public health) and $9.47 million City Works (depot operations, maintenance of footpaths, drains and roads).
This Budget provides for a $62 million Capital Works Program in 2020/21 including $7.10 million to continue the Whitehorse Centre redevelopment, $5.20 million for the Morack Golf Course Pavilion, Driving Range and Mini Golf Facility, $3.56 million for the redevelopment of Terrara Park Pavilion and $2.51 million for the development of a new Sparks Reserve West Pavilion.
A 2.0 per cent average rate increase equals $3.9 million in revenue for Council. This means council can continue to deliver the services and programs our community needs. These funds will also contribute to the response and recovery pandemic programs, where $4.5 million has been allocated to support our community through the pandemic and recovery. See page 5 for details on Council’s recovery grants program.
"It is clear that the 2020/2021 financial year will not be an ordinary year. The social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community will be very significant. Council has taken a measured approach to this budget." Whitehorse Mayor Councillor Sharon Ellis