Home News The 2015/16 Ballarat Draft Budget delivered by the Mayor

The 2015/16 Ballarat Draft Budget delivered by the Mayor

Ballarat Mayor Cr John Philips and CEO Anthony Schinck deliver the draft budget.

ON Tuesday the City of Ballarat unveiled the Draft Budget 2015/16, which went to the Ordinary Meeting of Ballarat City Council, yesterday. At the unveiling Ballarat Mayor Cr John Philips said this year’s Draft Budget is a careful balance between being responsible with rate-payers money and maintaining, servicing and building Ballarat.

A reduction in management costs of $1 million this year makes more funding available for projects and services.

A 5.5% rate increase for the 2015/16 financial year has been proposed and the commercial rate will rise by 3.5%.

The City is also delivering a 4% increase in core capital investment.

CEO Anthony Schinck said this year’s budget includes a strong focus on maintaining Ballarat.

“We are taking charge of maintaining Ballarat. We need to take care of what we have – our roads, our buildings, our parks and gardens, and our sporting and recreational facilities,” he said.

“We are making key investments to keep our city up-to-date, and well placed for future growth, which means putting extra money into infrastructure.” Maintaining Ballarat projects include: $2.6M to maintain Council buildings; $10M for road maintenance; $210,000 for bridge repairs; $1.02M for city presentation projects including street furniture, city entrances, street irrigation and landscaping, public place recycling and bus shelters; $216,000 for public art and restoring city monuments; $318,000 for neighbourhood playgrounds; $281,000 for

neighbourhood parks. This year’s budget is also about delivering fundamental services and

Council has locked in the necessary expenses to run its 100-plus services through the 2015/16 budget. A selection of projects include: $13.63M for road construction and renewal, including $2M for rural roads; $1.54M for drainage projects; $1.65M for Ballarat’s three libraries and outreach service; $1.148M for bicycle strategy projects and bicycle paths; $200,000 additional funding for community events including two new events – Winterlude and the Archies; $300,000 to the City of Ballarat Community Impact Grants Program; $375,000 to the Township Empowerment Programs.

“This year’s budget continues the hard work of building for growth in Ballarat, including stimulating job growth and a stronger local economy. Extensive lobbying with the State Government has secured $53 million to build a better Ballarat,” said Mr Schinck. Ballarat West Employment Zone $5M City of Ballarat, $25M State Government; Wendouree Basketball and Sports Centre $5M City of Ballarat, $9m State Government; Lucas Community Hub $2.65M City of Ballarat, $1.6M State Government. In 2015/16 the following projects, fully funded by the State Government, will commence: $15M Eureka Stadium AFL Upgrade; CE Brown Reserve Clubrooms Upgrade.

The City will also invest $4.5M in sports and recreation projects in 2015/16. Council is dedicated to the Clean Ballarat initiative and projects included in the draft budget are: $2.32M for waste and recycling services and programs; $100,000 to deliver a priority action of the Environmental Sustainable Strategy; $25,000 to replacing street lighting with low energy use light fittings as part of a long term transition project; investigate innovative waste management; and progress options for bio energy within the Ballarat West Employment Zone.

In April Council asked the community to get involved in early discussions through the $4.5 million Budget Priority Projects Survey.

A total of 638 residents completed a questionnaire, sharing their

thoughts on which proposed projects were a priority for Ballarat this year.

A new public toilet will be built in the entertainment precinct of the CBD, improve Her Majesty’s Theatre and Art Gallery, transform the Mining Exchange to a live music venue; deliver a modern community hub at Sebastopol Library; reopen the lookout at Black Hill; build a new fernery at the Botanical Gardens; and lay the groundwork for a new youth space and Regional Motor Sports Facility in Ballarat. The Draft Budget and Council Plan will be available to view from Monday, 18 May: in person at City Of Ballarat Customer Service Centre, 25 Armstrong Street South; Town Hall Sturt Street; online www.ballarat.vic. gov.au.

Feedback must be received by 9am, Monday 15 June.