Monash Council will boost community infrastructure by spending $43.4 million on its capital works program including significant upgrades to footpaths, drains and sports pavilions.
Council’s 2018/19 budget was adopted at its 26 June 2018 meeting.
The budget also includes the introduction of a limited recycling levy, starting in 2018/19, to recover the additional costs of recycling following China’s ban on accepting some recycled products. The financial impact of this ban has resulted in a net cost to Council of $1.5 million, as Council no longer receives a rebate for recyclables and also now has to pay for materials to be processed.
Initially, to recover its costs, Council had hoped for an increase to its rate cap and applied to the Essential Services Commission (ESC) to increase its rate cap from 2.25% to 3.53% The ESC did agree to increase the rate cap, but only to 2.57%, which did not meet the full impact of the shortfall.
At its Council meeting on 26 June, 2018, Council determined it would introduce a limited recycling levy on each rateable property in Monash of $22 to meet the increased recycling costs.
Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said the levy would only be used to recover the recycling costs and that eligible pensioners would not have to pay the levy.
“This is a decision we have not taken lightly but Council believes we had no other option. If we didn’t introduce this limited levy, which works out to be about 50 cents per rateable property per week, then we would have to look a cutting back projects or services and that wasn’t in the best interests of our community,” Cr Klisaris said.
Cr Klisaris said all eligible pensioners would be provided with a waiver so they would not have to pay for the recycling levy.
“There will be no cost to pensioners with this change as we know providing for pensioners is important to our community. Many of you told us that you thought it appropriate to charge ratepayers a little more to subsidise pensioners. This works out to about $3 more per annum,” Cr Klisaris said.
“Monash is one of only a handful of Councils that does not already have a waste charge. Those other Councils have adjusted their charge in the wake of the recycling crisis, with some ratepayers facing significant increases”.
Council’s 2018/19 budget includes a number of outstanding projects with significant community benefits.
Highlights of the budget include:
- First stage of construction of the Oakleigh Recreation Centre upgrade to substantially improve the 41-year-old facility and create a new home for the Waverley Gymnastics Club. The State Government is providing $3 million through Sports Recreation Victoria, the Federal Government $2.1 million and Waverley Gymnastics $1 million towards this project, which will continue into 2019/20
- $5.6 million for road reconstruction and renewal, including the reconstruction of Atherton Road, Oakleigh ($3.1 million), which will continue into 2019/20
- $4.1 million to renew Council’s footpaths in keeping with community expectations
- $3.1 million for recreation, leisure and community facilities including redevelopment of the Holmesglen sportsground ($800,000)
- Start construction of a multi-sport pavilion at Caloola Reserve ($2.67 million in 2018/19)
- $1.2 million for playspace upgrades at Adrian Street (Chadstone), Glen Waverley North Reserve, Dennis Court (Clayton), Mannering Drive (Glen Waverley) and Catherine Avenue (Mount Waverley).
Media Contact: Emily Webb 0466 026 560 or email Emily.Webb@monash.vic.gov.au