News & Media Releases

Proposed Budget 2014/15 released for community comment

23 April 2014

The community is invited to comment on Yarra City Council’s Proposed Budget 2014/15, on public exhibition until Friday 23 May.

Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky, said the $152.1 million expenditure budget aimed to meet the needs and aspirations of the community by providing for vital infrastructure, services and programs.

“This budget sees major community infrastructure investment and funding for innovative sustainability projects. Grassroots Council services that the community expect and rely on continue as a top priority,” emphasised Cr Fristacky.  

 “A key highlight is Council’s $35.6 million capital works program to maintain  and improve existing roads, bike lanes, footpaths, laneways, community buildings, parks, gardens and open space as well as for essential new infrastructure.

“As with last year, Council proposes to invest more than 20% of our total budget on capital works, a far higher percentage than capital investment by other levels of government from their respective budgets,” Cr Fristacky said.

“It is exciting to see major initiatives coming to fruition. Council has allocated $4.4 million to begin the detailed design and construction of the highly anticipated North Fitzroy Community Hub. Funding has also been earmarked for two new community centres in Richmond, including $1.1 million for the fit-out of a facility in the former GTV9 television studios at 26 Bendigo Street, and $826,000 to progress the construction of Burnley Backyard in Tudor Street,” she said.

“Council is also embarking on a plan to substantially reduce energy use, committing $360,000 towards its $3.4 million Energy Performance Contract which will fund the implementation of efficiency measures identified in an audit of 18 Council-owned buildings.

“Committed to providing essential services and infrastructure investments, Councillors are also conscious of the need to keep rates affordable.  A 5.4% rate increase is proposed and the rate rebate for pensioners is set to increase from $150 to $160,” she said.

 

Here is a copy of the Proposed Budget 2014/15
docx format 2014-15 Proposed Budget (1.74 MB)

 

Highlights of this year’s draft budget include:

  • $152.1 million total operating expenditure budget;
  • $35.6 million capital works program (excludes carried forward projects $4.8 million);
  • $2.6 million in new initiatives;
  • $2 million for community grants;
  • 5.4% rate in the dollar increase for ratepayers; and
  • 6.6% increase in the rate rebate for pensioners (from $150 to $160 per annum) as well as continuing to ensure concession fees remain affordable.

 

New Initiatives

Council is proposing to fund new initiatives in the Budget including:

  • $826,000 to progress the construction of Burnley Backyard – a community centre in Tudor Street, Richmond;
  • $250,000 for the planning and management of special events in local parks over New Year’s Eve and Australia Day;
  • $45,000 to establish a register to assist Council communicate with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community members;
  • $25,000 to establish a Live Music Acoustic Fund which will assist local live music venues to respond to issues associated with the operation of venues in Yarra. It is anticipated that the fund will operate in close collaboration with Music Victoria.

 

Capital Works Highlights

The proposed $35.6 million capital works program includes:

Building projects

$15.2 million for building projects including: 

  • $4.4 million to design and begin construction of the new $14.5 million North Fitzroy Community Hub, which is expected to include a library, community meeting rooms, a maternal child and health centre, a customer service counter and a roof top garden;
  • $2.4 million for the refurbishment of the 345 Bridge Road, Richmond building. Council recently purchased this three-storey building as a strategic investment. The top floor will be used for office space for Council, while the lower two floors will be leased to major companies or organisations;
  • $1.1 million for the fit out of a new community facility at 26 Bendigo Street, Richmond (in the former GTV9 television studios);
  • $950,000 for the redevelopment of the Gold Street Child Care Centre in Collingwood;
  • $260,000 for the refurbishment of the Richmond Town Hall reception to make the customer service centre more accessible.

 

Roads, Footpaths, Drains, Tree Root Management and Retail Shopping Strips

$8.6 million for more than 100 road, footpath, drainage and tree root management projects including:

  • $205,000 for footpath and pavement works in Raphael Street, Abbotsford;
  • $190,000 for public domain works in the Smith Street retail precinct, Collingwood;
  • $150,000 for footpath renewal works in Bridge Road retail precinct, Richmond;
  • $130,000 for pavement works in Rushall Crescent, Clifton Hill;
  • $95,000 for rehabilitation works in bluestone laneway between Chestnut and Green streets, Cremorne;
  • $90,000 for footpath and kerb and channel works in Freeman Street, North Fitzroy;
  • $65,000 for reconstruction of bluestone laneway off Khartoum Street, Burnley;
  • $50,000 for footpath works in Victoria Street, Richmond; and
  • $30,000 for drainage works in Newry Street, North Carlton.

 

Sustainability Initiatives

  • $360,000 towards Council’s $3.4 million Energy Performance Contract, which will fund the implementation of efficiency measures identified in an audit of 18 Council-owned buildings;
  • $410,000 for installation of co-generation equipment at Richmond Leisure Centre.

 

Parks and Open Space

$4.5 million for more than 20 parks and open space projects including:

  • $515,000 for the construction of a new park at 615 Church Street, Richmond, which will see a disused freeway off ramp transformed into 3000sqm of accessible open space;
  • $300,000 for renewal works on the Main Yarra Trail from Mac Robertson Bridge to Burnley Harbour ;
  • $150,000 for sports lighting projects at Kevin Bartlett Reserve
  • $100,000 for new lighting at Edinburgh Gardens.

 

Bicycle Infrastructure

$1.7 million for bicycle lanes, paths and associated infrastructure including:

  • $650,000 to construct a shared pathway connecting Merri Creek Trail to Rushall Reserve;
  • $500,000 for separated Copenhagen bike lanes on Wellington Street (between Victoria Parade and Johnston Street, Collingwood).

 

Traffic Management

$1.3 million to plan and implement Local Area Traffic Management Plans (LATMS) including:

  • $250,000 for the implementation of traffic calming measures in Richmond  as part of LATMS 17;
  • $200,000 to improve pedestrian amenity in line with Council’s Encouraging and Increasing Walking Strategy.

 

Leisure Centres and Sporting Facilities

  • $365,000 for the installation of access controls and ticketing kiosks at Yarra’s leisure centres to improve access for members;
  • $150,000 to improve disability access to the gymnasium at Fitzroy Swimming Pool.

 

Factors impacting the budget

Once again this year, there are a number of mandatory State Government charges. Among these is the Fire Services Property Levy which all Victorian Councils have been directed by the State Government to collect.  Although appearing on rates notices, this is not a Council charge for Council services, but a State levy.  You can read more about the Levy on Council’s website.

State Government landfill levy costs will also rise by 10%.  In 2014/15, the amount of this levy for Yarra will be over $1 million - an increase of $100,000 on the previous year.  This creates a major incentive for everyone to help reduce waste sent to landfill.

Council acquired debt of $32.5 million in 2013/14 to pay out Council’s Vision Super defined benefit liability and to fund major community infrastructure and services investments, including the acquisition and refurbishment of the property at 345 Bridge Road, Richmond; the acquisition of the Connie Benn Centre business and operations; and Council’s $3.4 million Energy Performance Contract.

 

Have your say

Council encourages community members to find out more about the Proposed Budget and to provide feedback.

Hard copies are available to view at:

  • Richmond Town Hall
  • Collingwood Temporary Customer Service Centre
  • All Yarra Libraries branches
  • All Maternal Child Health Centres.

Information sessions

You can find out more at some upcoming community information sessions. Council officers will be on hand to answer questions and listen to your feedback.

Monday 28 April from 12.30pm – 1.30pm at Richmond Town Hall (333 Bridge Road)
Tuesday 20 May from 5.30pm – 6.30pm at the Richmond Town Hall (333 Bridge Road)

Written submissions must be received by 5pm on Friday 23 May and can be hand delivered to the Richmond Town Hall, posted to Grace Wong, EA to Director Corporate and Financial Services, at PO Box 168, Richmond VIC 3121 or emailed to Grace.Wong@yarracity.vic.gov.au

Any person requesting to be heard in support of a written submission is entitled to be heard by Council or to be represented by a person acting on his or her behalf. Council will hear and consider submissions at its meeting at the Richmon Town Hall on Monday 2 June from 6.30pm.

Council is then expected to adopt the Proposed Budget – with or without changes – at the Council Meeting to be held at the Richmond Town Hall on Tuesday 10 June from 6.30pm.


For media inquiries, contact Toby Walker, Acting Coordinator - Communications, on 9205 5120 or at Toby.Walker@yarracity.vic,gov.au

For further information about the Proposed Budget, contact Scott Jennings, Management Accountant, on 9205 5257 or at Scott.Jennings@yarracity.vic.gov.au


 

 


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