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Council’s 2016-17 Council Budget adopted

Golden Plains Shire Council adopted its Budget for the 2016-17 financial year and 2013-2017 Council Plan (which also includes the Strategic Resource Plan) at its ordinary meeting on Tuesday 28 June.

It includes $12.1M to support and develop Council’s recreation and community spaces and groups, $8.3M to support children, aged, disability and child health services and $16.5M allocated to construction and maintenance of roads and street infrastructure.

Mayor, Cr Des Phelan said Council spent a lot of time discussing the balance between community wants and needs, and meeting the State Government’s rate cap.

“We asked the community where their priorities lay and they told us and that was invaluable in shaping Council’s development and review of the draft Budget,” said Cr Phelan.

Council received 10 submissions and heard from three submitters at a special meeting of Council in mid-June. Following the Special Meeting, Council held a workshop to consider the detail of all submissions, including the three verbal submissions.

Council acknowledged that some of their issues have been already put into effect, while others were not appropriate as a short term action in 2016-17, but will be considered by the next Council, when drafting the new SRP and 2017-18 Budget.

Accordingly, Council agreed no further changes would be made to the budget as a result of the submissions.

“While we did not make any changes, this is because Council believes the Budget was well balanced and appropriate for the current situation. Council appreciates the time and effort community members have taken on their submissions,” said Cr Phelan.

“Council was also committed to meeting the State Government’s new Fair Go Rates System (FGRS) which has capped average rate per assessment increases at 2.5 per cent. Balancing community priorities with extremely limited budgets will only get more difficult for Councils as we get further into the rate capping environment.”

“Council is committed to continue actively listening to our community,” Cr Phelan said.

“Council is working hard to look at ways we can save money but still deliver a good range of high quality services. We have our eye on the future and a ‘Community First’ attitude, and I think that will help us continue to provide ‘best value’ for our residents and ratepayers,” said Cr Phelan.