MaroondahMedia ReleasesUrban Sustainability

Media Release: Ensuring a sustainable financial future for Maroondah

By June 30, 2010July 12th, 2010No Comments

Maroondah City Council’s Proposed Council Plan 2010-2014 and Proposed Budget 2010-2011 were formally adopted during Council’s Monday 28 June meeting. The documents highlight the key initiatives which underpin the planning and budget blueprints for the Maroondah community.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin, said the Council Plan set out a broad range of Council activities designed to assist Council and the community move towards the future, as identified in Maroondah 2025: A Community Planning Together.

“The Council Plan clearly details the range of strategies that will be adopted over the coming four years and outlines Council’s commitment to working in partnership with the community to foster quality and sustainable lifestyles,” Cr Makin said.

“There are eight themes within the Council Plan: community; economic development and employment; infrastructure; leisure and culture; natural environment; transport; urban design and development; governance and corporate support,” Cr Makin said.

“The 2010-2011 Budget outlines the provision of financial resources for the coming 12 months, and details how these resources will be applied to delivering the many services Council provides to the community,” Cr Makin said.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

“One of the key factors in this year’s Budget is providing the resources to bring forward the operational deficit that has existed in 12 out of the past 14 Council Budgets,” said Cr Makin.

“It is imperative that this Council draws a line in the sand to ensure that ongoing deficits are no longer acceptable. We must move our financial status into surplus as soon as possible to allow Council to be in the position to invest in community facilities and to meet our obligations now and into the future,” said Cr Makin.

“Council has determined that the operational surplus will now be brought forward to the 2012/13 financial year (three years earlier), commencing with the 2010/11 Budget,” said Cr Makin.

“The operating result for the 2010/11 year is planned at a $1.782 million deficit which halves that of the 09/10 Budget,” said Cr Makin.

“It is important to remember that rates and charges provide 63 per cent of Council’s operating revenue, with the remainder sourced from user charges, operating and capital grants and interest,” said Cr Makin.

“The cost of services delivered to the Maroondah community in 2010/2011 is expected to be $91 million, which is an increase of $6.2million over the 2009/2010 Budget,” said Cr Makin.

The Budget is based on a proposed general rate and charges increase of 9.8 per cent.

This increase is made up from:

CPI (taken from the December 2009 quarter) 3%
Infrastructure Levy 2.5%
New initiatives 2.5%
Regional Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Ringwood 1.1%
State Government imposed increase in Landfill Levy 0.7%

For the average ratepayer living in a median priced house in Maroondah this represents a $98.10 increase in annual rates and charges, or $1.88 extra per week.

“Maroondah remains one of the lowest rating councils in Victoria, with figures released this week by the Municipal Association of Victoria indicating Maroondah has the 7th lowest (per capita) rates and charges of 71 Victorian Councils,” said Cr Makin.

“When further assessing these figures, the six lower rating Councils (per capita) are much larger in population than Maroondah, and therefore benefit from substantial economies of scale as well as other sources of income,” said Cr Makin.

“In addition, at an average rate of $549 per head, Maroondah has the lowest rating of all nine Victorian Councils of similar size (90,000 to 120,000 people),” said Cr Makin.

INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES

“Council’s Budget provides the resources to ensure we are able to sustainably provide over 120 services to the 105,000 members of our community, as well as providing resources for a number of new initiatives,” said Cr Makin.

These new initiatives include

  • $445,000 to provide ongoing maintenance on new capital works projects, such as the new Ringwood multi-purpose shared sports pavilion and all weather synthetic surface
  • An additional $126,000 in funding to Ringwood and Croydon libraries provides books and computer access for all members of the community, with over 1 million library books borrowed each year
  • An extra $150,000 to be spent on bushland clearance and fire prevention works in our bush reserves
  • Additional $250,000 to ensure powerline clearance of trees throughout the municipality
  • Investment of $50,000 to develop the Heathmont Structure Plan to identify and plan for residential and community needs around this transport hub and shopping precinct
  • Additional $50,000 on striking new signage throughout Maroondah identifying parks, reserves and buildings, includes pedestrian/cycling signage

LEISURE FACILITIES – MEETING THE COMMUNITY’S FUTURE NEEDS

“The allocation of funding in the 2010-2011 Budget (1.1% of rate increase) will be used to develop the design work and continue the community consultation for the proposed Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Ringwood, which will replace the existing Ringwood Aquatic Centre,” said Cr Makin.

“It is important that Council looks to the future to ensure that we meet the expectations and needs of the Maroondah community. A new regional aquatic and leisure facility is an exciting project that will generate enormous community benefit, and ensure significant leisure and aquatic facilities for the Maroondah community into the next 50 years,” said Cr Makin.

“Maroondah is maintaining its position as a lower rating council in metropolitan Melbourne and returning the budget to surplus allows us to deliver exciting projects like the proposed Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Ringwood,” said Cr Makin.

The 2010-2011 Budget and 2010-2014 Council Plan will be available for viewing on the Maroondah City Council website at www.maroondah.vic.gov.au

– ENDS –

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

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