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Council Budget released for community feedback

Council Budget released for community feedback

Thursday, March 21, 2024

With the return of an elected Council just months way, the City of Whittlesea’s Proposed Budget 2024-25 and Proposed Community Plan Action Plan 2024-25 aims to ensure Council’s financial sustainability in the long term whilst continuing to deliver quality services, facilities, projects and programs. 

The $315.21 million operating Budget will enable Council to continue to deliver 147 services to a growing population including kerbside waste collection, home support services for people in need, maternal and child health services as well as managing parks and open spaces, playgrounds and sports fields. 

The Budget also proposes a $107.5 million capital works program to deliver much-needed new facilities and upgrades to infrastructure. 

Key projects include the next stages for the Regional Sports Precinct in Mernda, the Aboriginal Gathering Place, Granite Hills Major Community Park, Patterson Drive Community Centre in Donnybrook, West Wollert Community Centre, Peter Hopper Lake in Mill Park and commencing construction of the Doreen Splash Park and Playground. 

Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said developing the Budget each year was a complex task.  

“Council has limited income and we need to carefully manage our expenditure to ensure we are delivering the infrastructure and services our community needs now whilst ensuring we are financially sustainable to continue to deliver in the future.” 

“We are cognisant of the ongoing impacts of cost-of-living on our community as well as the expectation that we continue to deliver much-needed services and projects,” she said.  

“I believe this Proposed Budget 2024-25 strikes that balance.” 

Council will continue to subsidise waste charges in 2024-25, including the Victorian Government’s Landfill Levy, by 22.8% at a cost of $1.9 million. 

Ms Wilson said while on paper Council had an adjusted underlying deficit of $13.71 million, this excluded developer contributions, non-monetary assets and non-recurrent capital grants. Council anticipates being in a surplus position once reserve funding for operating expenditure is taken into consideration. 

The Budget also proposes an average rate increase of 2.75% in line with the rate cap set by the Victorian Government under the Fair Go Rating system.  

“The cost of delivering services to our community continues to grow so while we are always trying to find efficiencies, we do need to raise rates to ensure that we are able to provide the range of services and build the infrastructure that our community expects as it continues to grow,” Ms Wilson said. 

Council will continue to offer support through its financial hardship program and the Budget proposes continued significant funding for community grants at an amount of $2.69 million.   

The Community Plan Action Plan 2024-25 proposes 59 key actions aligned with the Whittlesea 2040 goals of Connected Community, Liveable Neighbourhoods, Sustainable Environment, Strong Local Economy and High Performing Organisation. 

Lydia said the Proposed Budget and Proposed Action Plan were informed by considerable community feedback gathered last year. 

Throughout July-August 2023 Council asked the community what was important to them to help shape the 2024-25 Budget and Community Plan Action Plan. More than 500 people shared their thoughts both online and at 14 community-based pop-ups.   

Council checked in with the community during September and October to confirm the priorities identified.  

The feedback from both these phases of consultation has been used to help shape the Proposed Budget and Proposed Action Plan.  

“Now we are checking back in with the community with the draft documents to ensure it aligns with our community’s priorities,” Lydia said. 

“We would invite the community to read the documents on our Engage Whittlesea platform and provide any formal submissions for consideration.” 

Feedback or submissions can be made from Thursday 21 March 2024 via Council’s Engage Whittlesea website at or visit one of our community pop-ups below:  

When: Wednesday 27 March, 11am - 1pm 

Where: Whittlesea Community House, 92A Church Street, Whittlesea 

When: Thursday 28 March, 2pm - 5pm  

Where: Westfield Plenty Valley, 415 McDonalds Road, South Morang 

Contact us on 9217 2170 if you need other feedback options. Submissions close 5pm on Friday 5 April 2024. 

A Hearing of Submissions Committee will meet to hear from those who wish to speak to their submissions and will consider all community feedback before the final Budget 2024-25 and Community Action Plan 2024-25 is considered for endorsement at the Council Meeting on Tuesday 21 May 2024.