The City of Casey has unveiled its Draft Budget 2022/23 and Draft Annual Action Plan 2022/23 as part of a suite of strategic documents that sets out how it will invest in the city’s future while connecting its communities, despite the challenges of COVID-19 disruptions and significant ongoing cost pressures from other levels of government.
At its Council meeting on Tuesday 19 April 2022, Council endorsed the suite of draft strategic documents for public exhibition. These documents include:
- Draft Council Plan 2021-25 – Year 2 Review
- Draft Annual Action Plan 2022/23
- Draft Financial Plan 2022/23 which includes the Draft Budget 2022/23, the Draft 10-year Financial Plan and the Draft Capital Works Program 2022/23
This year’s draft budget totals $558.64 million, with a $433.19 million operational budget and a $125.45 million Capital Works Program. This includes a major focus on the allocation of funds towards completing a significant number of in-flight capital works projects, in line with existing planning arrangements.
The Draft Budget 2022/23 balances the needs and expectations of the community, while addressing the financial constraints and challenges brought about, amongst other factors, by State Government mandated landfill levy increases, a 1.75 per cent rates-cap, plus the economic effects of COVID-19 disruptions.
City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM said the budget sees another significant investment in the Capital Works Program, demonstrating Council’s commitment to providing the community with the services and infrastructure it needs, within the constraints of tighter economic realities.
“This year’s capital works program will see an emphasis on the finalisation of some large-scale projects, as well as our continued focus on the renewal of existing infrastructure”, said Ms Duff.
Through the Draft Budget 2022/23 we are allocating:
- $42 million towards child, youth and family services
- $51 million towards waste management
- $22 million towards community connections and health and wellbeing
- $19 million toward road maintenance
- $12 million towards sports and leisure
And through our capital works program we are directing:
- $29.1 million into roads
- $4.5 million into footpaths and cycleways
- $10.8 million into drainage
- $50.1 million into recreational, leisure and community facilities
- $4.6 million into parks, open space and streetscapes
- $12 million investment into business and digital transformation to improve our customers’ experience
Some of the key projects to be completed over the next 12 months include:
- $4.7 million for the Clyde North Family and Community Centre (West)
- $4.2 million for the renewal of playgrounds across the municipality
- $3.5 million for the construction of a new family and community centre in Clyde
- $3.2 million for storm water harvesting at Max Pawsey Reserve
- $2.0 million for the construction of Cranbourne West Sports Reserve (Lochaven)
- $1.2 million for the Botanic Ridge Soccer/Cricket Reserve
- $0.7 million for a new tennis pavilion at Max Pawsey Reserve
- $0.5 million for the resurfacing of the Robert Booth Reserve tennis courts
“These strategic documents show how we will address some challenging factors - such as emerging from the economic and societal disruptions of COVID-19,” said Ms Duff.
Another key challenge is the impact of the State Government’s rate cap which will limit the amount that Council may increase revenue from general rates at 1.75 per cent for 2022/23. The rate cap will have a significant ongoing impact on Council’s ability to meet the service delivery and infrastructure requirements that result from Council’s forecast population and development growth, as well as the impact of changing State Government policy settings, including with respect to waste management and landfill arrangements.
“As a direct result of the landfill levy increases and contract pressures, Council is raising the standard waste charge by $32 in 2022/23. In the coming years, we will be implementing the next phase of the Victorian Government’s Waste Kerbside Reform Program, while continuing to look to the future as we contribute towards a circular economy through waste management and resource recovery.
Beyond 2022/23, future waste management costs are expected to be affected by the implementation of the Victorian government Kerbside reforms, including implementation of a dedicated glass recycling service in 2027 and bin lid standardisation in the future. Councils in the southeast of Melbourne will also be faced with increased waste disposal costs as they deal with closing landfills and the need to transport waste to northern and western Melbourne, or seek alternative waste disposal options.
“Council is continuing to advocate to the State Government for a fairer distribution of Landfill Levy proceeds to invest in important environmental initiatives for the Casey community. Council will also work with the State Government and the community to prepare for the future kerbside reforms and seek to balance the important sustainability outcomes of these reforms with the fairest possible approach to funding the impact of the changes. As a result of these challenges, it may be necessary for Council to apply for rate cap variations in future years.”
“With a steady financial position and as a large and growing municipality, it is financially responsible to borrow to partially finance capital projects to spread the cost of projects over a number of years. The Draft Budget therefore recommends a low-interest, State-guaranteed, 10-year Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV) loan of $21 million for critical capital works in 2022/23,” concluded Ms Duff.
City of Casey CEO Glenn Patterson echoed these comments and added that the community will see some great outcomes from the draft budget, as Council focuses on finalising several key community infrastructure projects across Casey.
“This year’s Capital Works Program will see the commencement of some exciting new projects, including playground renewals and the Gwendoline Children’s Centre renewal, while also focusing on completing a significant volume of major projects that commenced in 2021 and 2022, from recreation and sporting reserves to roads and community hubs,” Mr Patterson said.
The full suite of draft documents will be open for consultation until Tuesday 17 May 2022, after which time Council will consider all of the feedback before formally adopting the documents at a Special Council meeting on 28 June 2022.
To have your say, visit our online engagement portal, Casey Conversations.