RESIDENTS wanting to help shape the way the shire council spends its income can have a say about the 2016-17 annual budget.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is again inviting input from ratepayers as it develops a budget, which this time will be affected by the state government’s new rate capping rules.
Victoria councils are facing the prospect of lower rate income, and will have to show “special circumstances” to increase rates by more than the cost of inflation.
Rate capping will be introduced for the 2016-17 financial year, and the shire will have to find new sources of revenue to maintain or increase services.
In one of her last actions before stepping down as mayor, Cr Bev Colomb late last week invited “all of the local community – including residents, businesses, sporting and community groups” to make a budget submission.
“It is important to offer this opportunity for the community to provide input to the preparation of the draft budget so that it continues to reflect the priorities identified by our community as well as providing ongoing service enhancements and infrastructure upgrades,” she said.
“You can submit ideas by post, email or online through the shire’s website. Verbal presentations in support of written submissions can be made to a committee of council 6-8pm on Tuesday 8 December at the shire office in Besgrove St, Rosebud.”
This would also be an opportunity to learn more about the budget and its development process.
To make a verbal presentation, register via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Wednesday 2 December.
Cr Colomb said the budget was “part of a long-term process through which the shire delivers programs, projects and initiatives in line with its [2013-17] strategic plan”, which can be downloaded from the shire’s website or obtained from shire offices in hard copy.
She said the strategic plan had been developed by the council “based on extensive input from local communities through our Plan Peninsula community conversations as well as through the development of master planning and service planning activities, which reflect feedback from the community”.
“The community will have [another] opportunity to comment on the budget during the statutory process later in the year.”