Make a submission on council's draft budget

Residents in the Northern Grampians Shire still have time to make a submission to council's draft budget.

Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin.

Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin.

Council released its draft budget at a special meeting on May 12 and agreed to place the documents on public exhibition and invite submissions until June 18.

All residents are encouraged to read the budget document and provide their feedback. Copies of the draft budget are available at www.ngshire.vic.gov.au, or from Council's customer service centres and Visitor Information Centres.

Comments can be addressed to the CEO via PO Box 580, Stawell or ngshire@ngshire.vic.gov.au and must be received prior to June 18.

Council agreed within its draft budget to allocate $33 million to projects and services throughout the municipality.

To achieve this and to deliver core services and targeted projects, the draft budget contains a proposed rate revenue increase of five per cent.

Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin said council was conscious of the cost of living pressures on residents and had done its best to limit rises to rates and charges.

He said it was a case of council having to find a balance between what the community wants and what it can afford.

Cr Erwin said the draft budget also placed a strong emphasis on providing infrastructure and services that support economic and community development.

"Approximately $28.7 million of the $33 million budget will be spent locally, providing significant opportunities for our businesses and contractors," he said.

Cr Erwin said other major investments included the completion of the long awaited Halls Gap Community and Tourism Hub and the implementation of a significant Land Development Strategy which will investigate realistic opportunities for residential, commercial and industrial development throughout the shire.

Draft Budget Highlights 2014-2015

$9.7m for capital works: parks, recreational areas, buildings and drainage works.

$6.1m on roads and bridges.

$4.6 for children's services, aged care, recreation, leisure services and libraries.

$1.1m to attract and encourage new and existing businesses and tourism.

$1.8m on waste management and environmental objectives.

$1.0m on streetscape improvements in Stawell, St Arnaud, Great Western and Marnoo.

$1.4m on maintenance and improvement of the shire's parks, gardens and open spaces.

$1.0m on major projects like the St Arnaud Town and Civic Precinct Stage 1 and the Western Highway Heritage Precinct (subject to funding).

$1.0m on major plant and equipment to keep our streets and infrastructure assets maintained.

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