BASS Coast Council’s $92 million draft budget includes a record capital works program of $28 million with some projects fast tracked to stimulate a local economy hit hard by the COVID crisis.
The budget, released this week for public comment, includes $2.8 million in direct fee relief and economic stimulus to support the community to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and projects an operating surplus of $3.1 million.
The capital works program includes major, minor and renewal projects:
The stimulus package includes:
Mayor Brett Tessari said he was delighted at the additional support to the community in the form of fee relief and economic stimulus while the council was also commencing the delivery and detailed planning for a number of major projects, including the Cowes Cultural and Community Centre and planning and design for two major Aquatics facilities in the Shire.
THEY SAID IT
Cr Pam Rothfield: “There is a massive amount of stimulus spending – it’s going in the right direction and being spread across the community … Debt levels is one thing that comes up occasionally and is good to address. Interest rates are unbelievably low. It’s time to be brave.”
Cr Michael Whelan: “A strong capital works program is so important and I’m pleased to see the Cowes cultural centre is leading that and will bring much-needed activity into that town to help stimulate the economy that’s been absolutely smashed by the pandemic. I’m pleased to see the climate change provisions there. When we see our coast crumbling before our eyes we see the importance of preparing to do work on climate change adaptation and to reduce emissions.”
Cr Les Larke: “I compliment our chief financial officer and team for the work they’ve done in constructing the 2020-21 budget for these uncertain times. On balance I’m satisfied, with some exceptions, with the current COVID-19 focus on supporting the health and wellbeing of our community and businesses.”
Cr Clare Le Serve: This is the opportunity for the community to have their say. Some years we’ve had very little. We have a lot of discussion but we don’t get very many submissions. Good or bad, I’m happy to receive them.”
The draft budget is available at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/budget. There will be an on-line Facebook Q and A forum at www.facebook.com/basscoastshire on Tuesday, 7 July from 6-7.30pm.
Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 21. If you wish to speak to your submission, you must advise Council within your email or letter.
Money, going cheap
June 19, 2020 - There’s work to be done and no better time to borrow to do it, writes Frank Schooneveldt, as he casts an eye over the council budget.