PUBLIC submissions for the 2022-23 Mornington Peninsula Shire budget have soared this year, with footpaths and walking trails leading the way with 908 votes out of 1500.
Submissions close at the end of March, but Cr Steve Holland says the huge jump in submissions already reflected a change of resident’s habits post lockdowns, and a stronger appreciation of the peninsula’s walking spaces.
He said the shire usually would receive fewer than 100 submissions, “but the new budget is proving very popular”.
Cr Holland also conceded that the new “Shape” online platform made it more accessible to residents and potentially captured a different demographic.
“It’s been fantastic, because normally we would have hearings, which not everyone could attend, but this time the platform gives more people access,” he said.
“What this new budget process tells us as councillors is exactly where the community wants funds to be directed,” he said.
The new online platform gives voters 100 points to allocate to key themes to be financed. Each choice costs 20 points and submitters can make up to five selections.
Council decided on the 16 themes for budget finance based on pre-budget submissions and officer and councillor feedback.
Submissions close at the end of March and can be made at shape.mornpen.vic.gov.au/budget-2022-23