Council is pleased to present the 2023-24 Draft Budget
The budget reflects a challenging financial environment due to inflationary pressure on goods, services and inputs including construction material, insurance, fuel and energy costs, well in excess of the state government rate cap of 3.50 percent.
Council will continue to review how it delivers its services and to drive innovation and efficiency gains to sustain its operations considering the financial headwinds it faces.
The Draft Budget includes a total Operating Budget of $58.6 million, an operating surplus (accounting result) of $8.4 million and a capital works program of $24.1 million including asset renewal of $17.8 million.
The underlying result, which excludes capital grants and contributions to fund capital expenditure and is a measure of Council’s ability to generate a surplus in the ordinary course of business, is an underlying surplus of $0.3 million.
The Budget provides the financial resources to achieve the outcomes set out in the 2021-2025 Council Plan. This includes the ongoing asset renewal commitment to ensure that Council’s asset base of $662 million is adequately renewed and upgraded, and the commencement of a future infrastructure fund of $0.5 million for significant capital works required in future years.
The 2023-24 Draft Budget incorporates a 3.50 percent increase in general and municipal rates and charges. This is in line with the state government’s Fair Go Rates System (FGRS) which has historically capped rate increases by Victorian Councils to the forecast movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The rate cap for 2023-24 was set at 0.5 per cent below the forecast CPI of 4.0 per cent for 2023-24. Despite the financial challenge that this poses, Council is determined to maintain its services, while working within the cap. The Draft Budget presented achieves a balanced financial result and has been developed through a process of consultation and review including community input.
The draft budget includes the following key financial indicators:
- Total operating expenditure of $58.6 million
- Operating surplus of $8.4 million
- An adjusted underlying deficit of $0.3 million
- A capital works program of $24.1 million, including asset renewal of $17.8 million
- Cash and investments of $11.0 million inclusive of council reserves
- Working capital ratio of 1.38 current assets to 1.0 current liability.
Council’s commitment to capital works will reach $24.1 million including $14.1 million on Council’s road network. Highlights include:
- Roads $14.1 million including road rehabilitation $9.1 million of which $3.6 million is federal government funded, resealing program of $2.1 million, unsealed road resheeting of $1.0 million, and TerangDarlington Road widening of $1.3 million of which $1.0 million is state government funding; • Bridges Renewal $0.51 million
- Buildings $2.5 million including Port Fairy Gardens Reserve major electrical works stage 1 $1.0 million, Railway Goods Shed activation $0.3 million and Koroit Theatre renewal works $0.18 million;
- Town Drainage works $0.56 million;
- Recreation $2.2 million including Port Fairy play space, skate park, pump track and stage 1 of the bicycle strategy $1.7 million ($0.40 million carried over from 2022-23) and resurfacing of the Mortlake Recreation Reserve netball/ tennis courts $70,000.
This is a responsible budget which delivers on the goals of the Council Plan, but also reflects the financial and budgetary pressures every household and business is facing. Council is not exempt from those challenges, but we remain committed to delivering services for our community in a way that represents best value for ratepayers' dollars.
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