Wodonga Council

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Council presents draft budget for community feedback

16 May, 2023

Wodonga Council is seeking community feedback on its Draft Budget 2023-2024 and 10-year financial plan following the May council meeting. 

The budget presented to the community includes a 2 per cent rate rise which amounts to an increase for the average residential ratepayer of 86 cents per week. 

Wodonga Mayor Cr Ron Mildren said the council was mindful of the cost of living pressures affecting ratepayers as well as its own tight budgetary circumstances. 

“This budget and forecasted financial conditions over the next few years are increasingly leaving the council in a position of having to make some very difficult choices,” Cr Mildren said. 

“It’s a challenging time with increasing costs and rising asset renewal and maintenance imposts as a result of the city’s high growth rate and the successful development of new community infrastructure over the past 15 years. 

“It is prudent and appropriate at this time to take a more fiscally conservative approach in this and coming financial years, ensuring the council can remain sustainable in the long-term.” 

The draft budget includes a reduction in animal registration fees with the sterilised cat and dog registration fee going from $54 to $30 and the pensioner fee for a sterilised cat and dog going from $27 to $20. 

It includes a program of new capital works totalling $15.8 million inclusive of a fully funded renewal program totalling $11.75 million. 

There will be $13 million of works to be carried over from the 2022-2023 including the construction of stage one of Baranduda Fields with new projects including the replacement of the Brockley St bridge, which has received a $3.7 million grant from the Australian Government, and planning for the construction of William Page Drive and pedestrian signals on Pearce St. 

“Asset maintenance and renewal is critical to long-term financial sustainability and we are seeing increasing recurrent costs following years of significant construction including Baranduda Fields, High St, Hyphen and infrastructure at Logic,” Cr Mildren said.  

The council undertook community consultation in February and March to inform the development of the draft budget. 

More than 200 people got involved during the consultation with more than 100 items of feedback with the key themes being road maintenance and safety, waste management, culture and events, economic development, bike paths and accessibility. 

Following the feedback period, the council resolved at its April council meeting to increase expenditure to incorporate the removal of the pine trees outside the Wodonga Tennis Centre in Lawrence St.  

Cr Mildren encouraged the community to have their say on the draft budget during the exhibition period. 

The draft budget documents and ways to have a say are at makewodongayours.com.au. The consultation closes on June 7. 

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