Corangamite adopts coronavirus recovery Budget

Published on 23 June 2020

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Corangamite Shire Council tonight adopted its record $55.7 million 2020-2021 Budget focussed on stimulating the local economy during the recovery from coronavirus.

The highlight is a $4.8 million coronavirus recovery package for the local economy. The package includes

  • Fee Waivers:................................................ $400,000
  • Jobs:.............................................................. $1.4M + $2.3M from Working for Victoria
  • Infrastructure:.............................................. $330,000
  • Small business funding:............................. $180,000
  • Marketing and promotion:......................... $50,000
  • Community events/activities:................... $50,000
  • Community group/volunteer support:..... $25,000
  • Local charities:............................................ $25,000

The record total was improved significantly by grants from the State and Federal Governments.

There will be no rate rise for ratepayers and the waste management charge will increase by 4.72% or $16.20 per property to cover increased costs.

Some projects have been deferred, allowing Council to respond to the pandemic with a $5.28 million operating result forecast.

Mayor Neil Trotter said the Budget was a carefully considered response to unprecedented situation created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The restrictions put in place by the Government to control the spread of COVID-19 have had a terrible impact on our communities across our Shire, and this Budget is an aggressive strategy to get the back on the front foot.

“It supports ratepayers by reducing the financial burden with a 0% rate rise.

“The $4.8 million stimulus package will support our businesses and communities. 

“Many grants have already gone out and hundreds of people have applied for 43 temporary jobs with Council through the State Government’s Working for Victoria initiative.

“We’re getting funding out there and getting people into work. It’s all about jobs and security for our residents.”

“Nobody knows when it will be business as usual, but these steps are aimed at keeping the wheels turning so recovery comes from a better starting position.”

“One particularly gratifying project that will go ahead is the construction of Stage 1 of the Twelve Apostles trail, from Timboon to Port Campbell,” he said.

“Our Budget allocation of $1.7 million, along with $4.5 million from the State Government will create a huge asset for the community.

“Construction of the Twelve Apostles Trail will translate into immediate jobs for Shire residents and income for local businesses during the downturn.

“It will also create an ongoing asset that will continue to provide employment and recreation opportunities for our community into the future.”

Cr Trotter said preparing the Budget had taken many hours of work by Council’s Finance team, and strenuous negotiation between Councillors.

“We are confident we have come up with a comprehensive and financially responsible Budget that will provide the best results for ratepayers and residents in trying circumstances,” Cr Trotter said.

“It maintains our ongoing commitments to community services, such as early years and aged care services, pools and libraries.”

Cr Trotter said Council remained committed to maintaining local roads and advocating to the State and Federal Governments for improvements to the arterial road network.

“We have committed $8.7 million to road rehabilitation, roads to recovery projects, resheeting and resealing,” he said. “Some of the major road projects include widening and rehabilitation of Wiridgil Road ($445,000) and rehabilitation of East Hill Road ($427,000), Linton Road ($399,000) and Terang-Framlingham Road ($325,000).

The Budget will be available here and hard copies are available from the Civic Centre at 181 Manifold Street, Camperdown.

Highlights of the budget include:

  • New assets, upgrades and renewals ($20.3 million)
  • Roads ($8.68 million) – including rehabilitation, roads to recovery projects, resheeting and resealing
  • COVID-19 Recovery Fund ($4.8 million)
  • Recreation and leisure ($6.27 million) – including $6.2 million for construction of the Twelve Apostles trail

Existing community grants programs will continue to be funded:

  • Quick Response Grants $17,500
  • Community Grants Funding $50,000
  • Community Planning township allocations $30,000
  • CBD Façade Improvement Program $50,000
  • Facility Grants $50,000
  • Environment Support Grants $30,000
  • Events & Festival Funding $40,000

The Events and Festivals Grants Program will be run when there is more clarity around the future of COVID-19 restrictions.