Draft budget released

TOWNS across the Alpine Shire will benefit from significant Capital Works as part of the new Alpine Shire Council draft 2012/13 budget.

The draft budget was placed on public exhibition at a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 22.

The average rates payable will increase by just 4.8%, one of the lowest rural rate rises in the State.

Mayor Peter Roper said the increase was necessary to balance the sustainability and growth of the Alpine Shire with community expectations.

“This budget supports a renewed focus on financial sustainability and managing existing assets, rather than replacing them in the future for greater cost,” he said.

“There is also a strong emphasis on future planning, with a shire-wide tree management program and greater focus on sustainability and strategic planning.

“This year’s Capital Works program features some very exciting projects across the Shire.

“Council will contribute $2.3million to the expected $5.6 million Capital Works Program, the remainder of which will be funded from State and Federal Government funds.”

Capital Works program highlights include:

• Lakeside playground and toilet block, Mt Beauty ($385,000)
• Pavement reconstruction, Lakeside Avenue, Mt Beauty ($250,000)
• Drainage works, Mt Beauty and Tawonga South ($120,000)
• Mt Beauty, Myrtleford and Bright swing bridge renewal ($150,000)
• Brandy Creek bridge reconstruction ($345,000)
• Bright drainage works ($60,000)
• Small town development fund to be spent on priority projects in Porepunkah, Harrietville, Tawonga and Wandiligong ($80,000)
• Road resealing program ($480,000)
• Gravel re-sheeting of unsealed roads ($220,000)
• Energy efficiency improvements at Council buildings ($120,000)

The budget also introduces the new Commercial/Industrial Differential Rate to replace the previous Special Rate.

“The new Commercial/Industrial differential rate is fairer and more equitable than the Special Rate,” Cr Roper said.
“And the quantum of the rate has been reduced by 5% to 43% of the general rate, the lowest it’s ever been.”

Waste charges have increased by 11.7% to cover increased State Government levies and landfill management costs.

“But fortunately these charges were contained when Council made the strategic decision to operate its own landfill. Councils that don’t are experiencing much greater increases,” Cr Roper said.

The budget can be accessed online here.

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