Wattle Range Council release draft budget

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Public consultation on Wattle Range Council's draft Annual Business Plan 2021/22 is underway.

A draft budget that focuses on continuing the community’s COVID recovery, stimulating the local economy and developing strategies that capitalise on attracting residents and tourists to the Council area, has been developed by Wattle Range Council for the upcoming financial year.

The council’s Annual Business Plan for 2021/22 is currently out for consultation and Mayor Des Noll encourages residents and ratepayers to look over the Plan which outlines the services, programs and strategic projects that the Council plans to deliver to the community over the year.

“Staff and elected members have put a considerable amount of time into developing a budget that we think best meets the needs of our community,” Mayor Noll said.

Key focuses and projects include:

  • Increased investment in Council’s road network. In total $6.3M has been allocated out of a capital budget of $12.7M for various road renewals and upgrades across the district.
  • Preparation of a Strategic Planning Review that will address planning zoning issues across the district. Completion of this work will help guide future land planning and activation of potential development opportunities in our townships.
  • Increased focus on delivering community events, support & activities Council wide. Including support for the staging of the National Geocache Event and a brand new Crayfish & Wine Festival as well as a continued focus on existing events that will draw tourists and locals to our district.
  • Commencement of detailed design works for the streetscaping projects in both Penola and Millicent main street precincts.

In addition, Council will continue several initiatives that were implemented as part of last year’s response to the COVID 19 emergency, including:

  • Provision of further employment opportunities to the community, with a proposal to employ three new staff members;
  • A focus on generating economic stimulus to the greater community through major infrastructure projects;
  • Allocation of $100,000 to fund major infrastructure projects by local community groups;
  • Waiver of outdoor dining fees for the regions hospitality industry; and
  • Preparation of ’Shovel Ready‘ strategies that can be utilised to leverage future grant opportunities for major infrastructure projects.

“In developing this $26 million dollar budget, as with all years, Council has had a finite amount of funds to deliver as many of the various projects requested as possible,“  explained Mayor Noll.

"It is a balancing act to deliver a budget that meets current and future community expectations, whilst limiting any rate increases and minimising the impact to ratepayers under the current circumstances. In consideration of this, it is proposed to increase Council rates by 2.5%, with rate revenue also supplemented by growth from new developments.”

“Now is the time for our community to review the financial plans of Council for the upcoming year and provide any feedback they may have,” he concluded.

Written submissions from the public in relation to the Annual Business Plan are welcomed and can be forwarded to Council via email [email protected], or alternatively they can be mailed or returned to a Council office.

Verbal submissions can also be made on the Plan at a Special Council Meeting to be held on June 15 at 5pm in the Millicent Civic & Arts Centre Supper Room.

Public consultation on the Wattle Range Council 2021/22 Annual Business Plan concludes at 5pm on Friday, 11 June 2021. Copies are available from Council’s website at www.wattlerange.sa.gov.au/haveyoursay or at any of Council’s offices.

Ewan Grant

25 May 2021

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Ewan Grant

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