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Draft Budget released for community consultation

Draft Budget released for community consultation
14 May

Local residents are invited to participate in the community consultation process as part of the City of Mount Gambier 2019/2020 Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget review. Council formally endorsed the plan and budget at a special meeting on Monday 13 May 2019.

The draft budget supports the strategies, initiatives, services and projects aligned with Council’s Community Plan – The Futures Paper (2016-2020), Long Term Financial Plan and Infrastructure and Asset Management Plans.

The draft budget outlines a total spend of $32.3 million in operating expenditure, including depreciation of $7.3 million and total capital expenditure of $10.3 million for the delivery of services, programs and the maintenance of assets. This includes $2.4 million towards the initial stage of the Mount Gambier Community and Recreation Hub project and development of new and upgraded assets, operating and capital expenditure.

As part of the Infrastructure and Asset Management Plan Forward Works Program for 2019/2020:

  • $2,286,000 is budgeted for on the road reconstruction program including drainage upgrades on Crouch Street North, John Street, James Street and Olympic Park.
  • $371,000 has been earmarked for the Railway Station building.
  • $367,000 has been allocated for footpaths, an increase of approximately $60,000 on the current year’s footpath spend.
  • $200,000 for upgrades to public toilets.
  • $150,000 for the Vansittart Park grandstand.
  • $60,000 will be spent on playgrounds.

Council will continue to develop John Powell Reserve into a naturescape and increase outdoor learning opportunities and engagement for local children and the community.

“Following requests from kindergarten students from the Mount Gambier Children’s Centre, Council will plant some more trees, install a tap and a picnic table with bench seats for community use,” City of Mount Gambier General Manager Business Services Pamela Lee said.

Key influences on the 2019/2020 draft budget include the first full year of operation of the ReUse Market which opened in October 2018, additional recycling costs due to China’s ban on receiving exported recycled material and an increase in utility and Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) fees and compliance costs. The budget will also continue to focus on economic development including tourism and the delivery of the signage strategy and youth, arts, culture and heritage initiatives supported by the Riddoch Art Gallery.

The draft budget forecasts an operating deficit of $242,000 and provides for a net surplus of $282,000 as at 30 June 2020. This is consistent with Council’s Long Term Financial Plan that outlines the current 4.5% average rate increase being maintained.
- City of Mount Gambier General Manager Business Services Pamela Lee.

The provision of services such as the Library, Mount Gambier Visitor Centre, Main Corner services, parks, infrastructure and asset maintenance, waste collection and disposal continue to represent significant components of Council's budget.

Borrowing for Council’s capital contribution towards the Community and Recreation Hub project is forecast in Council’s Long Term Financial Plan adopted by Council on 19 March 2019. This follows the formalisation of a $15 million Australian Government capital funding agreement for the project under the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) on April 1 2019, and the State Government of South Australia’s contribution of $10 million.

“Council will receive funding from Federal and State Governments retrospectively, after the completion of milestones associated with the project build. This means that Council will undertake a careful cash management process moving forward to ensure borrowing and expenditure is adjusted accordingly along the way through modelling within the Long Term Financial Plan.”

Community feedback assists Council to determine the services, programs and projects it provides on an annual basis. The 2019/2020 Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget is available to download at https://www.haveyoursaymountgambier.com.au/20192020budget or in hard copy from the Council office at the Civic Centre, 10 Watson Terrace Mount Gambier.

“Council is committed to listening and responding to the ideas and feedback of the community and endeavours to provide convenient means for individuals to share their views on the draft document,” Mrs Lee said.

The community is invited to provide feedback:

Community consultation opens on Thursday 16 May 2019 and closes on Thursday 6 June 2019 at 5:00pm. Council will formally consider all feedback before adopting the final 2019/2020 Annual Business Plan and Budget in late June 2019.

Media contact: Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on (08) 8721 2401 or smclean@mountgambier.sa.gov.au