Council is seeking feedback on a draft Budget which includes the largest ever program of community infrastructure upgrades, while also delivering the lowest average rates of all Victorian councils.
Council is also seeking views on its draft Council Plan which sets out Council’s four key strategic objectives for the next four years, and a range of strategies and priority projects to achieve those objectives. Community feedback on Council’s draft 2017/18 Budget and draft 2017-21 Council Plan is sought by Wednesday 31 May.
Monash Mayor Rebecca Paterson said the draft Budget and draft Council Plan were both aimed at maintaining Monash’s liveability as the population continued to grow.
“We have listened to what our community has told us – people want to see rates kept low but they also want community facilities to be provided at a high standard,” Cr Paterson said.
“From a financial perspective, we are not able to meet every need but over time we are putting more money into improving local community infrastructure.
“We’ve got to make sure that our infrastructure keeps pace with the needs of our growing community, whether that is by improving our sporting facilities, upgrading our walking and cycling paths and making our playgrounds better for local kids,” Cr Paterson said. “This kind of infrastructure is really important in providing opportunities for people to be physically active and to socialise with other local people.”
The highlights of this year’s $49.2 million capital works program include:
- An $8 million allocation in this financial year towards the $20 million redevelopment of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre, which will be undertaken over two years. This project involves the renewal and expansion of the 40 year old indoor sports stadium and the creation of a new home for Waverley Gymnastics. The State and Federal Governments and Waverley Gymnastics are contributing $6.1 million combined for this project;
- $2.9 million for the creation of Monash’s second synthetic sporting pitch at Gardiners Reserve (Burwood) and increased funding ($5.1 million) for sports pavilions, with pavilions being renewed or upgraded in Scammell Reserve (Oakleigh South), Central Reserve South (Glen Waverley) and Columbia Park (Wheelers Hill);
- $2.6 million for a renewal of the Mount Waverley Community Centre and Youth Centre, which will bring these 1970s buildings into the modern era and provide a comfortable community space where people can participate in a wide range of activities. The refurbishments will also result in the relocation to this precinct of two well-known Mount Waverley organisations: the Monash-Waverley Community Information and Support Services, and The Highway Gallery;
- $1 million for playspaces, including the creation of new playspaces at Samada Reserve (Notting Hill) and Montpellier Gardens Estate (Burwood) and the renewal of existing playgrounds (that have reached the end of their safe, useful lives) at Fiander Avenue Reserve (Glen Waverley), Murumba Drive (Oakleigh South), Netherby Avenue (Wheelers Hill) and Pascall Street (Mount Waverley); and
- $600,000 for upgrades to local bike paths, in keeping with Council’s commitment to the community to continue funding bike path upgrades at a higher level than we had in the past. An upgrade is planned for a section of the Melbourne Water Pipe Track, while missing links will be filled in along Scotchmans Creek Trail and Waverley Rail Trail.
Cr Paterson said rates were proposed to increase by 2%, in keeping with the State Government’s cap on rate increases. With a 2% rate increase, the average Monash home owner (whose property is worth $899,859) will pay an additional $27 over the year. Monash pensioners will continue to receive a $50 rate discount from Council, in addition to the State Government rate rebate of approximately $221.
“This isn’t a property revaluation year so Monash ratepayers won’t experience the huge fluctuations in individual rate notices that many experienced last year,” Cr Paterson said. “Instead, it will be an across the board increase of 2%.
“The average rates in Monash are expected to be $1,483 in the 2017/18 year, which is at least $300 less than the average rates charged across Victoria.”
Cr Paterson said while Council had kept a lid on its spending so rates could remain low, it had been able to afford to put several new initiatives in the draft Budget. Aimed at improving Council’s service to its community, these initiatives include:
- Increased funding to Council’s Community Laws team so they can respond on weekends to any concerns from residents about matters such as building construction noise and activity;
- An additional staff member in the Monash Pride Crew, to improve the cleanliness of the Pinewood, Hamilton Place, Huntingdale and Syndal shopping precincts;
- A part time staff member who will lead initiatives aimed at making Monash a UNICEF Child Friendly City; and
- Two new staff positions in our Statutory Planning team, ensuring that the increased level of planning applications can be responded to in a timely and thorough way.
Cr Paterson said the draft Council Plan included four key strategic objectives which the Council wished to achieve over its four year term: A Liveable and Sustainable City; Inviting Open & Urban Spaces; An Inclusive Community; and Responsive and Efficient Services. The plan also sets out a range of strategies and priority projects to achieve each of these objectives.
Submissions on the draft budget and draft Council Plan can be made via email (email@example.com) or mail (PO Box 1, Glen Waverley 3150). To read the documents or for more information, visit the Have Your Say section of Council’s website.
Media Contact: Jo Robertson 0418 391 979 or email JoanneR@monash.vic.gov.au