Big pro­jects in NGSC bud­get

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

North­ern Grampians Shire Coun­cil has in­cluded a 2.25 per­cent rate rise in its 2018-19 bud­get, in line with a State Gov­ern­ment-im­posed rate cap.

Mayor Tony Driscoll said the bud­get process re­quired sig­nif­i­cant plan­ning and built on the coun­cil’s vi­sion for the fu­ture, out­lined in its 2017-21 coun­cil plan.

Coun­cil­lors have given in-prin­ci­ple sup­port for the bud­get, which is now open for pub­lic com­ment.

The bud­get in­cludes sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant pro­jects, in­clud­ing: $1.7-mil­lion to im­ple­ment a Halls Gap Master Plan, $1.4-mil­lion to re­vi­talise Stawell’s Main Street, $300,000 for St Ar­naud Civic Precinct, and $200,000 for Great Western Pub­lic Park and Re­serve.

“It should be noted that while all of the pro­jects listed are de­pen­dent upon the fi­nan­cial sup­port of both State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, coun­cil is con­fi­dent that its strong ad­vo­cacy pro­gram and pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships with both lev­els of gov­ern­ment will se­cure back­ing for the ma­jor­ity of these cap­i­tal works,” Cr Driscoll said.

He said the fi­nal bud­get doc­u­ments in­cluded a sig­nif­i­cant amount of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

“The bud­get process be­gan in Jan­uary when we had a se­ries of com­mu­nity meet­ings in Stawell, St Ar­naud, Great Western and Halls Gap ask­ing for com­mu­nity in­put,” he said.

“With this in­put in mind, the bud­get has been de­vel­oped and once again our com­mu­nity is be­ing called upon for their com­ments.” Cr Driscoll said res­i­dents could pro­vide feed­back in sev­eral ways, in­clud­ing via a form on the coun­cil’s web­site, www.ng­shire.vic.gov.au.

Peo­ple can also email com­ments to ng­[email protected]­shire.vic.gov.au or sub­mit writ­ten com­ments at coun­cil cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tres at Stawell and St Ar­naud.

“We can see by some of the pro­jects that have been in­cluded in the bud­get how im­por­tant com­mu­nity in­put is,” Cr Driscoll said.

Pri­or­i­ties for St Ar­naud in­clude re­newal of the town hall kitchen, de­vel­op­ment of St Ar­naud Mar­ket Square and stage two works on Queen Mary Gar­dens.

Pro­jects in Stawell in­clude re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of Stawell’s cen­tral busi­ness district and sig­nif­i­cant works at North Park, in­clud­ing up­grad­ing club rooms and net­ball court re­newal.

“Coun­cil will con­tinue to pro­vide the ser­vices that res­i­dents of our shire know and love, how­ever, val­u­a­tion of our as­sets shows there is a large in­crease in the value of farm­ing land which will re­sult in rate in­creases to farm­ers,” Cr Driscoll said.

“Coun­cil ad­vo­cates for the peo­ple who live and work in our re­gion and we are al­ready work­ing on this is­sue.

“If you are a farmer or producer, we want your ideas, we are talk­ing to the Vic­to­rian Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion and have sought meet­ings with the State Gov­ern­ment and Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment.”

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