Coun­cil works on ef­fi­cien­cies in bud­get

Benalla Ensign - - News -

The in­creased cost of man­ag­ing re­cy­cled waste and the im­pact of rate cap­ping have been con­sid­ered in the prepa­ra­tion of the 2018/19 Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil Bud­get, which was adopted on June 27.

The bud­get fo­cuses on de­liv­er­ing the core func­tions as out­lined in the Coun­cil Plan 2017-2021, in­clud­ing more than $1 Mil­lion on roads, $420 000 on bridges and $215 000 on foot­paths un­der a $4.434 mil­lion Cap­i­tal Projects Pro­gram.

In 2015 the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced rate-cap­ping legislation, which pro­vided for an an­nual rate cap set by the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter, which con­trols gen­eral rate in­creases, and rev­enue, for all coun­cils dur­ing that fi­nan­cial year. The cap for 2018/19 is 2.25 per cent.

The Bud­get in­cludes $27.1 mil­lion rev­enue and $29.1 mil­lion ex­pen­di­ture with a deficit of $2.008 mil­lion.

This deficit po­si­tion is pri­mar­ily due to an early pay­ment of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance grant of $2.083 mil­lion.

This pay­ment of 50 per cent of the coun­cil’s Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment al­lo­ca­tion was re­ceived in June.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tony McIl­roy said on­go­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery within a fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able frame­work was cen­tral to the coun­cil’s op­er­a­tions and bud­get con­sid­er­a­tions.

‘‘This will be the third year the coun­cil has been im­ple­ment­ing its in­ter­nally driven strat­egy of do­ing the same with less,’’ Mr McIl­roy said.

‘‘We have re­duced over­heads and em­ployee by $1.754 mil­lion.

‘‘We are con­tin­u­ally work­ing to en­sure we are de­liv­er­ing ser­vices in the most ef­fi­cient, sus­tain­able way.

‘‘There has never been a tougher time for ru­ral coun­cils and the coun­cil has been work­ing on pre­par­ing a sus­tain­able bud­get since late Jan­uary.’’ our costs

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