New 2010-11 budget delivers low rate rise for Casey ratepayers

MEDIA RELEASE: 21 July 2010

Casey Council last night adopted its 2010-11 Budget following the finalisation of negotiations with the State Government regarding the conditions attached to its contribution of $17.5 million towards the Stevensons Road closed landfill.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Lorraine Wreford said ‘Despite having to address some large financial challenges, the $216 million budget is a responsible and balanced response to the needs of our community, and provides a solid framework for citywide expenditure in the 2010-11 financial year’.

The new budget will ensure that Casey ratepayers continue to pay one of the lowest rates in Victoria per capita.

Of the $216 million total budget, $173 million will be spent on delivering more than 100 different Council services to the community and $43 million is allocated to the Capital Works Program to continue providing first class community facilities for the City’s 256,000 residents.

‘Council had to make some very difficult decisions in this budget in respect to some significant expenses that were out of its direct control’, said Cr Wreford.

‘This year, the City of Casey, as with all local governments, must act as a collection agency for the State Government and collect the EPA’s landfill levy which has increased to $30 per tonne of waste this year, up from $9 per tonne last year.

‘Another difficult issue Council had to address was funding for the Stevensons Road closed landfill. Whilst Council originally had to prepare its draft budget based on carrying the full short-term costs (approximately $32 million) associated with remediating the landfill, I am pleased that following our strong representations over an 18-month period, including submitting four business cases, the State Government has now indicated a preparedness to provide $17.5 million in funding assistance.

‘This State Government funding assistance, coupled with Council’s decision to defer some Capital Works Program expenditure this financial year, means the rate increase in 2010-11 will be 5.96%; an average of $1,331 per household.

‘Not only does Casey have one of the lowest rates of Melbourne’s 31 metropolitan councils, Casey also compares favourably to our municipal neighbours where the average rate rise is 6.6%.

‘I am also pleased to say that Council will continue to remain an extremely efficient council with Council’s operating budget only increasing by 2.4%. This means that we will make more effective use of our resources without compromising on the high standard of our service delivery.’

‘I am very proud of the work the City of Casey is doing for its 256,000-plus residents and I believe the Budget will continue to strengthen services and provide vital infrastructure for all parts of our growing city’, added the Mayor.