Despite the pressures and challenges as a result of COVID-19, Council have delivered a budget that ensures financial support for residents while also delivering essential services, infrastructure repairs and important major projects to improve infrastructure.
For the 2020-2021 year, Council has achieved a 0% or less increase on rates for all residential customers and implemented a cap of 6% on rates for primary producers, who have experienced a rate rise this year as a result of increased valuations in the district. This approach to rate modelling provides Council an overall increase of 1.6% in revenue raised through general rates and honours Councils commitment to delivering good value for money for residents and ratepayers.
The plan will deliver a $87,428 surplus (before capital amounts) for the 2020-21 year and Council’s long-term financial sustainability is dependent on ensuring that, on average over time, its expenses are less than its revenue. $10M or 65% of Councils operating income is derived from rate revenue, alongside another $3.1M (20%) received in grants and subsidies. Expenses for Council include materials and services, employee costs and depreciation rounding out the $15.5M budget.
Budget highlights for 2020-2021 include:
- $3.6M road upgrades and renewals
- $2.2M on road maintenance
- $231,000 for Stage 2 of the underground power lines at Port MacDonnell
- $175,000 contribution to the City of Mount Gambier’s Recreational Sporting Hub
- $288,000 in building maintenance and public facilities, including a new toilet block at Brown Bay
- $92,000 to turn the Old Boat Yard site into a sealed car park
- $40,000 seaweed removal
- $22,000 for projects at Tarpeena including a fitness park and gardens at Whittington Square
- Completion of The Waterfront Stage 2 project
- Completion of the Mount Gambier Regional Airport Upgrade
- Commencement of the new ramps project at the Mount Gambier and District Saleyards
Alongside these projects, Council continues to be proactive with respect to seeking grant funding to assist with the funding for new projects. Council continues to show strength in responsible and transparent management of finances which is in line with legislation, community expectation and ensures a sustainable approach to delivering services and infrastructure improvements.
Councils 2020-2021 Annual Business Plan and Budget can be found at: www.dcgrant.sa.gov.au/council/council-information/annualbusinessplan