Community Information Sheet for 21/22 Budget

Published on Friday, 13 August 2021 at 3:59:52 PM

CONTEXT: The Shire of Denmark’s annual operating budget for 2021/2022 will be voted on by Council next week, which includes a proposed rate rise of 6%.

DETAILS: Funds for the annual operating budget come from a range of sources each year. Ratepayers fund a portion of the budget to allow for investment in infrastructure and service delivery for community benefit. For every $100 spent by the Shire of Denmark, just $38 comes from ratepayers. Last financial year, ratepayer funds were spread across the portfolio of Shire activities. For every $100 of ratepayer funds spent by the Shire of Denmark, $60 went to building and maintaining infrastructure, $15 went to protecting our natural environment, $13 was invested back into our community, $7 was invested in the future of our town and $5 covered the cost of Council activities.

More information and a breakdown of the plans for the year ahead are outlined in the President’s Message at the commencement of the draft budget document, available here:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why the proposed rates rise?

No one at the Shire of Denmark enjoys discussing an increase in rates. Remember, our staff and Councillors are ratepayers too! Each year budget and rates revenue are carefully reviewed with the interests of the community at the forefront of the decision making. Rates make up a critical portion of the Shire’s annual operating budget and allow us to deliver the services and infrastructure our community needs. The amount we collect in rates is proportionate to the schedule of service delivery for the year ahead.

Reports on social and local media platforms regarding rates and fees and charges increases are not necessarily correct, nor do they paint the full picture of the proposals put forward to Council. We recommend contacting the Shire directly if you have concerns or questions about information before Council. 

Where will the money raised by this increase be spent?

As our local community well knows, we are experiencing increased demands on Shire managed services and infrastructure. We have more waste to deal with, more public amenities to clean, more heavy-usage road damage to repair and so on, in addition to storm related damage. The money raised from the increase will go back into those important services provided the Shire which are utilised by both locals and tourists.

How does the rates rise compare with neighbouring and other local governments?

Reports have compared the rates discussions in the Shire of Denmark to the City of Albany and metropolitan Local Governments. These are misleading comparisons which don’t compare ‘apples with apples’. The Shire of Denmark is a small Local Government with a passionate, diverse and exacting community which means we have far less resources to deliver the range of services and projects which our community tells us matter to them.

Why does the budget include a big increase in employment costs?

This is another question which has been taken out of context by commentators. The draft budget covers ‘back to normal’ staffing levels and associated costs.

Why are Councillors getting a pay rise?

Our Councillors devote a significant amount of time to the tasks and responsibilities which come with being Elected Members. While most Local Governments pay their Elected Members 80-100% of the allowable amount, the Shire of Denmark has traditionally paid Councillors much less. This rise brings their pay up from 63% of the allowable amount to 65% which the Shire feels is a more appropriate recognition of the dedication and effort put in by Councillors.

What’s the $70 Waste Services fee all about?

We’re making some changes to Waste Services in our Shire for the coming financial year, including increasing the number of tip-passes for all properties and introducing green waste tip passes. The $70 fee covers this, in addition to research into Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) for Denmark, promoting refuse, reduce, recycle programs and activities and most importantly, putting money into reserve for desperately needed future upgrades to the tip. Regardless of if you bring your waste to the tip or have it collected for you, we all utilise the important services provided by the Shire’s Waste Services team and the local tip. The one-off yearly $70 fee amounts to $1.35 per week to improve our sustainable management of waste into the future and we know this is something our community cares deeply about.

Who do I contact for more information?

Please contact Shire of Denmark CEO David Schober on (08) 9848 0300 or  

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