Draft Budget documents open for community feedback

Published on 12 May 2021


Community members are being encouraged to make a submission on Council’s 2021-22 to 2024-25 Draft Budget, which sets out our goals and projects for the coming years.

The 2021-22 Draft Budget, Council Action Plan and Capital Expenditure Program has been released for community feedback, following Council’s 11 May meeting.

Community members can read through the documents and provide feedback on them until midnight Tuesday, 8 June.

This year’s draft Budget proposes $4m for libraries, $2m for pools and aquatic facilities, $6.5m for services for older adults and people with a disability, $4m for Maternal and Child Health nursing and $6.7m for maintenance and renewal of existing public buildings.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister, urged community members to read the draft Budget and Capital Expenditure Program and share their feedback with Council.

“The budget is one of the most important Council documents there is – it sets out, in black and white, our proposed priorities for the coming year and how we’ll meet them,” she said.

“An incredible amount of thought goes into the details – including which projects in our Capital Works Program are prioritised for funding and how we’ll keep costs down over the long-term across our organisation.

“This year’s draft budget has also been informed by our recent Council Plan engagement, where we heard from the community that they value the services we provide to the community, and wanted services prioritised over capital spend.

“This document impacts every service we offer to the community, so I’d highly encourage our community members to have a read through and share whatever thoughts they have.

“Making a submission doesn’t have to be a long, formal process – you can share as many or as few words as you’d like, and speak to them at a public meeting if you want to elaborate further. Every submission is listened to, assessed and responded to before the budget is finished and adopted.”

Submitters can nominate to speak to their submission at a public meeting set for Tuesday, 15 June.

Cr McAllister said this year’s draft budget proposes a rate increase of 1.5 per cent across the municipality, but noted that rates will fluctuate if an individual property’s valuation increased or decreased compared to other properties in the municipality since last year.

“Your annual rates are largely determined by the value of your property compared to others in the region – properties that are worth more pay a higher percentage of our total rates, compared to those with lower values,” Cr McAllister said.

“This way, the amount paid is proportional across the community – similar to how the amount you pay in Medicare each year varies based on your income.

“A 1.5 per cent increase means a $43 increase to the average household, but there will be many households where rates will be lower, because of changes to property values.

“Proposing to increase rates is never popular – especially as we’re still working as a community to recover from the pandemic – but will help us continue to provide 120 services to the Yarra Ranges community, continue building and maintaining our infrastructure and prepare for future programs and challenges.

“And we still have an expanded policy of flexible options available to support ratepayers who need assistance in paying their rates.”

The draft budget includes $4m specifically for COVID-19 pandemic recovery initiatives, such as $1 million for Community Recovery Committees across the Yarra Ranges, where community members will be able to make decisions about recovery projects in their area.

“We know we’re not out of the woods yet, in terms of the pandemic and its impacts on the community,” Cr McAllister said.

“Our pandemic recovery in the last year has provided grant funding for projects across the region, pop-up spaces for meeting, eating and entertainment, and we’re preparing for more in the coming financial year.

“We know that a big part of community recovery is getting people from those communities involved wherever possible, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to take part in our initiatives as they come up.”

Capital works highlights from this year’s draft budget include new footpaths and maintenance works across the region, drainage works in Upwey and Belgrave to prevent flooding, township improvement projects in Healesville, Belgrave and Lilydale and playspace renewals.

Capital Works Program highlights

Across Yarra Ranges

  • Road re-sealing and re-surfacing across Yarra Ranges - $5.5m
  • Installation of solar power at community facilities - $250k
  • Council building minor works and renewals - $1.98m
  • Bridge improvement works - $220k
  • Aquatic facility renewal works - $1m
  • Public toilet renewal works - $104k
  • Design and construction of a biomass facility to produce bio char and renewable energy - $600k (additional funding in future years) (includes $500k State Government funding)

Hills region

  • Belgrave - Community Library Redevelopment - $600k (additional funding in later years) (includes $100k State Government, $100k Eastern Regional Libraries funding)
  • Belgrave – Construction of a netball court with lighting at Belgrave Recreation Reserve - $300k (additional funding in future years) (Federal Government funding)
  • Belgrave - Drainage works on Waratah Avenue, Park Drive and Arbor Avenue - $249k (additional funding in later years) (includes Federal Government funding)
  • Belgrave – Belgrave Lake Park playspace improvements and master plan works - $26k
  • Belgrave – Footpath works on Blair Road, between Best Street and Benson Street - $50k
  • Belgrave - Township Improvements – including pedestrian networks - $140k
  • Belgrave Heights – Zig Zag Road, water sensitive drainage solutions to address flooding and erosion - $20k (additional funding in future years)
  • Dandenong Ranges - Ridgewalk, stage 1 construction of a 26km trail, with spaces for education, cultural expression and social gathering - $4.1m (additional funding in later years) (includes Federal Government and State Government funding)
  • Monbulk – Footpath works on Baynes Park Road from aquatic centre to Masches Hill Road - $100k
  • Menzies Creek – Footpath works on School Road - $137k
  • Monbulk - Urban Design framework – in conjunction with the Place Plan - $30k (additional funding in later years)
  • Monbulk – Recreation Reserve playspace renewal - $86k
  • Monbulk - Recreation Reserve Skate and Scooter Park upgrade, including lighting installation - $522k
  • Monbulk - Recreation Reserve Stormwater Harvesting System - $580k (includes $330k Melbourne Water funding)
  • Narre Warren East - Sports Field Lighting Renewal - $224k
  • Sassafras – Township improvements, including principle pedestrian networks - $209k
  • Selby – Footpath works on Greenwell Road, between Belgrave-Gembrook Road and Morley Street - $9k
  • Selby – Footpath works on Morley Street - $20k
  • Upwey - Tennis Court renewal – including new surface, lighting, fencing, drainage and infrastructure on five courts - $450k
  • Upwey South - Tennis Court renewal – including new surface, lighting, fencing, drainage and infrastructure on six courts - $540k
  • Upwey – Footpath works on Irvine Street, between Main Street and Mahony Street - $44k
  • Upwey – Skatepark Redevelopment - $300k (includes $150k State Government funding)
  • Upwey – Belmont Avenue kerb and channel works to fix flooding issues - $195k

Urban region

  • Chirnside Park - Footpath works on Landscape Drive - $165k
  • Chirnside Park - Green Spine Shared Path lighting - $355k (includes $152k Federal Government funding)
  • Chirnside Park, Old Melbourne Road, road pavement rehabilitation - $500k (Federal Government funding)
  • Chirnside Park - Chirnside Urban Park design and construction of playspace - $154k (additional funding in later years)
  • Chirnside Park -Black Springs Road, road pavement rehabilitation works - $441k (Federal Government funding)
  • Chirnside Park - Kimberley Reserve Community Sports Pavilion - $920k (additional funding in future years) (includes State Government and Federal Government funding)
  • Kilsyth - Pinks Reserve, Stormwater Harvesting System - $192k (includes 100k Melbourne Water funding)
  • Kilsyth – Footpath works on Walnut Drive – connecting existing path to Montrose Road - $100k
  • Kilsyth - Elizabeth Bridge Reserve, Ground Upgrade – upgrading infrastructure for sport and social recreation, plus temporary changing facilities - $638k
  • Kilsyth - Pinks Reserve Community Sports Pavilion construction - $1.86m (additional funding in future years) (includes State Government funding)
  • Kilsyth – Pinks Reserve stadium improvements, including additional basketball court, improved amenities and wall insulation - $1.5m (additional funding in future years) (including State Government funding)
  • Lilydale - Melba Avenue, road pavement rehabilitation - $358k (Roads to Recovery funding)
  • Lilydale - Yarra Ranges Regional Museum foyer redevelopment - $71k
  • Lilydale - Footpath works for accessibility at The Gateway and at Wandana Reserve in Mooroolbark - $60k
  • Lilydale - Footpath works, Melba Ave, between Hutchinson Street and Jarlo Drive - $20k
  • Lilydale Precinct Masterplan – in conjunction with the place plan for Lilydale - $100k (additional funding in later years) (Includes State Government funding)
  • Lilydale - Town revitalisation works - $500k (state gov funded)
  • Lilydale - Carmen Reserve playspace renewal - $25k (additional funding in later years)
  • Lilydale - Civic Centre Redevelopment, final stage works - $3.67m
  • Mooroolbark - Luke Polkinghorne Reserve playspace renewal - $405k (Includes $215k State Government funding)
  • Mooroolbark – Mooroolbark Heights Reserve playspace renewal - $256k
  • Mount Evelyn - Bailey Road playspace renewal - $247k
  • Mount Evelyn - Community Sports Pavilion construction - $1.91m (additional funding in future years) (includes Federal Government, State Government and Sporting Club contributions)
  • Mount Evelyn - Morrisons Reserve, Sports Complex Fence Upgrade - $70k (Federal Government funding)
  • Mount Evelyn - Morrisons Reserve, shelters and synthetic turf – two additional shelters and synthetic turf to preserve track - $200k (includes Federal Government funding)
  • Mount Evelyn - Recreation Reserve Number 2 Sportsfield Lighting Renewal - $153k

Valley region

  • East Warburton - Cement Creek Road Bridge Rehabilitation and Upgrade - $1.33m (includes $635k Federal Government and $700k Roads to Recovery funding)
  • Healesville - township improvements on Green Street to construct pavement, crossings, disability compliant parking, garden beds and drainage - $386k
  • Healesville - Don Road Recreation Reserve, Number 2 Sports Field Lighting Renewal - $260k
  • Healesville - Lilydale Road, improvements, including pedestrian facilities, drainage, amenity and parking facilities - $1.15m (additional funding in later years) (Federal Government and Roads to Recovery funding)
  • Healesville – Maroondah Parade, drainage improvements to address flooding and erosion - $52k (additional funding in future years)
  • Healesville - Smith Street, road widening to accommodate on-street parking, kerb and channel, associated drainage and new footpath - $1m (Federal Government funding)
  • Healesville - Staging improvements at The Memo to provide overhead lighting bar - $90k
  • Millgrove - Community Sports Pavilion - $918k ($430k Federal Government funding)
  • Reefton - Upper Yarra Reservoir Park playspace - $518k (includes $285k State Government funding)
  • Seville – Britton Road, creation of an easement to improve drainage - $41k (additional funding in future years)
  • Seville - Recreation Reserve Oval One Ground Reconstruction - $1.68m ($900k Federal Government)
  • Seville - Footpath works on Warburton Service Road - $110k
  • Seville East - Glenvalley Reserve playspace renewal - $25k (additional funding in later years)
  • Wandin North - Wandin East Road – road pavement rehabilitation - $688k (Roads to Recovery funding)
  • Wandin North – Carpark works at the Recreation Reserve - $200k
  • Wandin North – Footpath works connecting Wandin North Primary School to Victoria Road - $172k
  • Warburton Urban Design Framework – developing in conjunction with the place plan - $30k (additional funding in later years)
  • Warburton - Woods Point Road – road upgrades to provide turning lane and better drainage, improving safety at Warburton Water World - $700k (includes $400k Federal Government, $300k State Government fnding)
  • Warburton - Mountain Bike Destination, development of more than 100km of trails in the hills surrounding Warburton - $4.3m (additional funding in later years) (Includes Federal and State Government funding)
  • Warburton – Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail improvements across length of trail - $45k
  • Yarra Junction - Bike storage near the Yarra Centre - $15k
  • Yarra Junction - Footpath works on Milners Road - $90k
  • Yarra Junction - Footpath works on Yarra Street, stage 1 - $35k (additional funding in later years)
  • Yarra Valley Trail – MacIntyre Lane crossing - $400k (Roads to Recovery funding)
  • Yering and Yarra Glen - Yarra Valley Trail, continued Stage 1 construction, connecting Lilydale, Coldstream and Yering to Yarra Glen - $2.9m (Includes Federal Government funding)

Cr McAllister said many people felt closer and more connected to their community, following last year’s restrictions on travel.

“I think, more than ever, our community members are using their local footpaths, roads and parks, after not being able to travel around during lockdown,” she said.

“With the pandemic still going, it’s important we focus on maintaining and improving our local infrastructure, putting in new footpaths, fixing things when they need it and moving forward with our Playspace Plan actions of renewing local playspaces.

“Projects like a new footpath to connect Wandin North Primary School with Victoria Road, the new Chirnside Urban Park and playspace renewals and improvements in Monbulk, Mooroolbark, Mount Evelyn, Seville and beyond will help make our towns more accessible and improve the spaces at your doorstep.”

Council’s Long Term Financial Plan will be released to the community for comment in coming months.

For more information, and to make a submission, visit our engagement page.

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