Draft 2021/2022 Budget and Waste Service Charge

for the Mt Gambier City Council

Article heading image for Draft 2021/2022 Budget and Waste Service Charge

City of Mount Gambier residents are encouraged to provide feedback on the 2021/2022 Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget (ABP&B) and proposed Waste Service Charge (WSC) formally endorsed at the Council meeting last night 18 May 2021.

The draft budget supports the strategies, initiatives, services and projects aligned with Council’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024, Long Term Financial Plan and Infrastructure and Asset Management Plan.

The draft budget outlines a total spend of $34.5 million in operating expenditure, including depreciation of $7.7 million, and total capital expenditure of $55.8 million for the delivery of services and programs and asset management, including $45.2 million towards the development of the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.

“Council froze rates and fees in this year’s budget as part of its multi-million-dollar COVID-19 stimulus and recovery initiative Our City, Our Response,” City of Mount Gambier Acting CEO Barbara Cernovskis said.

“Now that our community is finding its feet again following the pandemic, the 4.5% average annual rate increase will be reinstated on rates notices in 2021/2022 as outlined in the Long Term Financial Plan.”

The delivery of services such as the Library, Mount Gambier Visitor Information Services, The Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre, parks, gardens, infrastructure and asset maintenance, waste collection and disposal continue to represent significant components of Council's budget.

Council proposes to alter the standard rating policy structure for 2021/2022 to implement a Waste Service Charge (WSC) to highlight the annual individual ratepayer waste management cost on rate notices.

“The annual individual ratepayer waste component is currently absorbed within the General Rates – Fixed Charge. Council proposes to separate this out as an additional line item – Waste Service Charge (WSC) on your rates notice.”

Rate notice example based on 2020/2021 average residential property

“It is important to note that this $200 charge is not an additional cost to most ratepayers. Council hopes the WSC will encourage ratepayers to consider their personal environmental impact and the costs associated with waste management and does not intend to raise overall rates and charges associated with the WSC,” Ms Cernovskis said.

The proposed WSC is calculated based on last year’s (2019/2020) and this year’s (2020/2021) actual and budgeted waste collection, treatment and disposal costs per rateable assessment. The proposed WSC will be charged on the basis of the service being available to a property. It will exclude vacant land and primary production where there is no dwelling on the land.

The proposed WSC will establish the framework to allow for flexibility to provide future incentives for ratepayers who demonstrate good waste management. It’s important for everyone in our community to responsibly dispose of rubbish. Council will continue to work with the community to provide waste education and awareness programs to encourage waste reduction and recycling to divert rubbish from landfill.

In preparing the 2021/2022 Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget, Council was mindful to ensure that service delivery is maintained while it oversees the development of its largest ever infrastructure project, the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.

“The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is Council’s most exciting major project. However, it’s not the only focus for the City of Mount Gambier. Council is committed to ensuring that our community continues to be well serviced with a wide range of community support programs and initiatives,” Ms Cernovskis said.

The draft budget also includes a capital works program valued at $10.6 million.

Key highlights in the draft budget include:

Railway lands play space$300,000
Valley lakes toilet refurbishment$400,000
Library upgrades, including Bookmark Café$145,000
Extension of the shared walking/cycling path from Wandilo Road to Wireless Road and installation of solar lighting (including $800,000 in State Government funding)$1,100,000
LED street lighting project (including $400,000 in State Government funding)$600,000
12 new footpaths included in the works program$374,125
20 roads included in the road reconstruction program$2,121,500

Other key budget influences include:

  • A focus on economic development including tourism and the development of a strategic plan for the city’s tourism assets.
  • Continuing investment to promote Mount Gambier as a visitor destination, a regional retail and commercial hub and as a quality destination to host major events and conferences.
  • Development of the Mount Gambier Sport, Recreation and Open Space Strategy, informed by community feedback.

The 2021/2022 Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget and proposed Waste Service Charge is available to download at www.haveyoursaymountgambier.com.au or phone the Council office on 8721 2555 to request a hard copy.

The community is invited to provide feedback about the document:

The community consultation period closes on Friday 11 June 2021. Council will formally consider all feedback before adopting the final 2021/2022 Annual Business Plan and Budget and Waste Service Charge in late June 2021.

Ewan Grant

19 May 2021

Article by:

Ewan Grant

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