Media Releases 2011

Council approves its 2011/2012 Budget

09 June 2011

Infant swimming with parentsA $31 million capital works program will get underway in Yarra in the next financial year after Council adopted its 2011/2012 Budget earlier this week.

About $4 million will be spent finishing an upgrade of the Collingwood Leisure Centre, another $4 million will go towards road and footpath upgrades, and $800,000 to prepare for construction of the North Fitzroy community hub.

Nearly $2 million will be invested in improving Yarra’s on-and-off road bicycle network, $1.2 million on a new sporting pavilion in Ramsden Reserve, Clifton Hill, and $300,000 on refurbishment of a community facility in Tudor Street, Richmond.

Yarra Mayor Alison Clarke said Council had decided to contribute to a few additional projects after considering 37 community submissions about the budget.

A $20,000 contribution would be made to Bicycle Victoria for it to host a public forum and bicycle tours in Yarra as part of its annual conference, $5000 to assist the South Sudanese community celebrate the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, and $3000 to North Yarra Community Health to sponsor bikes which will be made available to residents of local housing estates.

“It’s pleasing that so many of the community submissions were supportive of the projects being funded in Council’s budget,” Cr Clarke said.

“It’s equally pleasing that Council was able to fund three additional projects which came up through our community consultation on the proposed budget,” she said.

“Two of these projects will promote bike use in our neighbourhoods, while the third will help build support networks amongst people who are newly arrived in our community.”

She said the budget provided for $700,000 to be contributed into an existing reserve for the creation of an indoor sports stadium. This would bring the total amount Council has in reserve for this project to $3.1 million by 30 June 2012.

If Council had proceeded with a proposed sale of Loughnan Hall – a Richmond community facility – the $1.4 million sale proceeds would have been transferred into the fund as well. The proceeds would have been used to fund a $500,000 restoration of the Hosie Street community facility and a $300,000 refurbishment of the Tudor Street facility, with the remaining amount put towards the sports stadium.. As Council decided in May not to proceed with the sale of Loughnan Hall, the Hosie Street restoration will not go ahead and $300,000 will be put into the fund to provide for the refurbishment of the Tudor Street facility.

Cr Clarke said the budget set a great foundation for Yarra’s future, investing in the infrastructure that was needed for a growing population while reducing Council’s debt to zero by June 2012.

“Since the municipality of Yarra was formed in 1994, this Council has never been debt-free, so it will be quite an achievement when we get there,” Cr Clarke said.

“There is not necessarily anything wrong with taking on debt to fund a major project, but debt can chew up a lot of money in interest payments,” she said.

“Once we become debt-free, we’ll then be able to make well-thought out decisions, involving the community, about whether any projects are worth taking on debt.”

Cr Clarke said the budget provided for a 4.9% increase in total rate revenue, which worked out to be about $47 extra for the average residential ratepayer whose property was valued at $650,000.

“We did need to increase rates to help us build new community infrastructure, but we have kept the increase as low as possible,” Cr Clarke said.

Council’s rates rebate for pensioners will be increased from $125 to $130, which will apply on top of the State Government’s rebate of $193.40.

Here is more information about Council's 2011/2012 Budget.


For media enquiries about this issue, please contact:
Ainslie Gowan
Coordinator - Communications
9205 5177 / 0400 933 700 


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