The City of Mount Gambier 2021/2022 Annual Business Plan and Budget and Waste Service Charge (WSC) was adopted at a Special Council Meeting held on Tuesday 29 June 2021.
The budget outlines a total spend of $34.5 million in operating expenditure, including depreciation of $7.7 million, and total capital expenditure of $55.8 million for the delivery of services, programs and asset management, including $45.2 million towards the development of the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.
“Council is pleased to have finalised the 2021/2022 Annual Business Plan and budget which includes a capital works program valued at more than $10.6 million,” City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin said.
Funds will be spent on community infrastructure such as the Railway Lands play space and on the extension of the shared walking/cycling path from Wandilo Road to Wireless Road which will be inclusive of solar lighting.
The delivery of services such as the Library, Mount Gambier Visitor Information Services, The Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre, parks, gardens, infrastructure and asset maintenance, waste collection and disposal continue to represent significant components of Council's budget.
Key highlights in the budget include:
Other key influences on the budget include:
In accordance with the Long Term Financial Plan, the 2021/2022 total rate revenue percentage increase is 4.5% including the Waste Service Charge (WSC).
"In 2021/2022 the average residential ratepayer will pay $1,312, which includes the Waste Service Charge (WSC). This is an increase of $65, equating to $1.25 per week," City of Mount Gambier CEO Sarah Philpott said.
“Council’s average residential rate is below the South Australian average which was $1,662 for metropolitan areas and $1,471 for rural areas in 2020/2021.”
Overall capital value, inclusive of all categories of rateable land (residential, commercial, industry, primary production and vacant land) increased by 4.4% within the city boundaries in 2021/2022. Individual rates payable are dependent on the capital value of a property.
“Following a surge in property sales during the past year, residential capital value on its own has increased by 5.9% in 2021/2022. Your property’s valuation will directly impact your rates. If your valuation increases, your rates will generally be higher due to growth,” Ms Philpott said.
“Council does not control the growth benefit of rates as this is influenced by property values which are determined by the Valuer General.”
Rate revenue will be used by Council to invest in the Strategic Plan 2020 to 2024, continue to deliver services and programs and capital works and maintain assets and infrastructure.
$24million (70%) of Council’s operating revenue will come from rates (including general rates, Regional Landscape Levy, Waste Service Charge (WSC), the remaining income comprises $5.6million (17%) from fees and charges and $4.5million (13%) from other sources, including Federal Assistance Grants.
Council will alter the standard rating policy structure for the new financial year to introduce a Waste Service Charge (WSC) to highlight the annual individual ratepayer waste management cost on rate notices.
“The annual individual ratepayer waste component will be separated from the fixed charge as an additional line item – Waste Service Charge - on your rates notice,” Ms Philpott said.
“I reiterate that this $200 charge is not an additional cost to most ratepayers. The fixed charge portion of rates has reduced by $200 with the introduction of the Waste Service Charge.”
“Council hopes the Waste Service Charge will encourage ratepayers to consider their personal environmental impact and the costs associated with waste management and does not intend to raise overall rates and charges associated with the charge.”
The Waste Service Charge (WSC) will be applied on the basis of the service being available to a property. It will exclude vacant land and primary production where there is no dwelling on the land.
“It is envisaged that the WSC will establish the framework to allow for flexibility to provide future incentives for ratepayers who demonstrate good waste management.”
See a fact sheet about the Waste Service Charge (WSC).
Council continues to oversee the development of its largest ever infrastructure project, the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre at Olympic Park on Margaret Street Mount Gambier, while maintaining a high level of service delivery.
“The development of the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is proceeding well, with work expected to be completed in Autumn next year,” Mayor Martin said.
“However, this major project is not the only focus for Council, as we work to ensure the community continues to be well serviced with ongoing work schedules, programs and initiatives.”
Members of the community were invited to provide feedback on the draft budget during the community engagement process which closed on Friday 11 June 2021.
“Six submissions were received and considered at a Special Meeting held on Monday 21 June 2021. We thank the members of the community who took the time to participate in the consultation process. It is very important for Council to hear and understand the views of our community during the budget process,” Ms Philpott said.
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