The draft 2021/2022 Budget was endorsed by Council on 20 April 2021. Public notice was given on 23 April 2021 and submissions invited. The submission period ended on 21 May 2021 and 35 submissions were received. Community members had the opportunity to have their say during the public consultation period and were heard at a Special Council Meeting on 1 June 2021. Budget adaptions that were received from public submissions include:
- Contribution to five neighbourhood houses increased by $5k per house
- 50% reduction in fees for users of Council owned sporting facilities to September 2021
- Shepparton Skate park lighting
- Murchison Men’s Shed
- Hastie Street Zebra Crossing
“Council wants to take the opportunity to listen to the Greater Shepparton community and ensure what is being said is being heard. Thank you to everyone in their efforts in preparing and presenting their submission to Council, resulting in some positive changes within the 2021/2022 Budget,” Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe said.
“The Hastie Street Zebra Crossing was allocated $85,000 and the investigation into lighting at the Shepparton Skate Park received $10,000.”
The 2021/2022 Budget includes a zero per cent increase on rates, below the Government’s Fair Go Rates System rate cap of 1.5 per cent, with the municipal charge remaining the same at $195. Waste charges will increase by 1.25 per cent, on average absorbing significant increases in the State Government’s landfill levy.
“Council are committed to COVID-19 recovery efforts and the 0 per cent increase on rates will assist with the continued recovery period, resulting in $1.1 million lost revenue,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
“In addition to the 0 per cent rate increase, the $71.58 million budget for capital works will assist recovery efforts with employment and business opportunities within the region. The impact of COVID-19 is felt across the municipality and 2021/2022 will be a year of recovery for businesses and Council.”
Influencing the 2021/2022 Budget allocation was Council’s adoption of a 2030 Zero Emissions Target.
“By allocating resources within the Budget it will assist with mitigating actions against climate change after declaring a Climate Emergency in March 2020,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
Council has identified several initiatives to work towards the 2030 Zero Emissions Target. These include:
- Arboriculture Services - Planting of 1,500 advanced trees per year, protection of current tree population, increasing canopy cover, decreasing urban heat map
- Plant and Fleet - Investigating purchases of battery operated small plant and electric fleet vehicles
- Parks, Landscaping/Native Open Space and CBD Maintenance - Renewing of garden beds with indigenous and native plants, transition to drought tolerant grass, use of recycled bollards and park furniture
- Building Maintenance - Energy efficient heating and cooling at council buildings, rollout of energy monitoring equipment on Council buildings, continued installation of solar panels; and
- Environment - Implement Zero Emissions Plan, undertake the One Tree Per Child Program.