Budget 2024-2025 includes $27.9 million in capital works

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Council’s 2024-2025 Budget capital works program features $10.4 million for ongoing capital works projects and a further $17.5 million for new projects.

The Budget was formally adopted by Council at its June 3 meeting.

The new capital works projects include:

•    $9 million for roads, bridges, footpaths and buildings;
•    $2.1 million for an upgrade of the Matrons Swinton Childcare Centre to create up to 33 additional childcare places and a new multipurpose room suitable for maternal and child health consultations;
•    $1.5 million towards the redevelopment of facilities at Walter Oval;
•    $0.7 million to upgrade flooring at the Val Bertrand Netball Stadium;
•    $0.6 million on CBD footpaths and car parks; and,
•    $0.35 million on upgrading irrigation at the Friendly Societies Park.

Mayor Cr Ben Blain said Council was committed to continuing existing services.

“We recently recommitted to providing home support services including aged and disability care and this is reflected in the budget,” Cr Blain said.

“We’ll also see the installation of the West Warrnambool Neighbourhood House over the coming year which is really exciting.

“And we’ve contained the rate increase in line with the cap set by the Victorian Government.

“This equates to an average of 88c per week increase for property owners with homes valued between $500,000 and $1 million. For residents with homes valued under $500,000 the increase will be less than 50c a week.

“Council has also reduced the annual waste management charge for the four-bin service by $10 to $417.

“There are some key projects that will require external funding to complete but in the meantime we are working on the steps to get them shovel-ready.

“This includes the next stages on the redevelopment of AquaZone and further work on a community centre for Brierly Recreation Reserve.”
Council’s budget has been strongly influenced by external factors including rising energy and construction costs which have risen in excess of the rate increase.

“Along with planning infrastructure for a growing population it’s really important to care for the assets we have,” Cr Blain said.

“Council maintains assets including buildings, roads, drainage and recreational infrastructure, worth more than $800 million.

“This budget includes $9 million towards asset renewal.”

Council will also reduce its borrowings from $8.5 million to $6.8 million.

“We’re also retaining the provisions we have in place for owner-occupiers who may be having difficulties paying rates,” Cr Blain said.

“This help includes a $250 rebate for eligible owner occupiers.”

Council also adopted the revised key strategic document, the Council Plan 2021-2025, including its new annual actions for 2024-2025.