Longevity the focus in 2019/2020 budget

Published: Tuesday, 6 August 2019 at 4:50:22 PM

Maintaining Shire assets to ensure their longevity is the key focus in the 2019/2020 annual budget, adopted by Council on 30th July.

The budget includes a $5.9m capital works program which delivers $3.5m towards road infrastructure projects, $1.48m towards land and buildings and $420k towards plant and equipment replacement.

Currently, around 16% ($19.3m) of existing assets are in poor or very poor condition according to the Shire’s Asset Management Plan.

Shire President Ceinwen Gearon said that the Shire has been focussing on asset management for the past two years to understand the Shire’s position and a way forward.

“It has taken a few years, however we now have a very robust understanding of our broader financial and asset management position. Delaying addressing the issue simply passes the problem to future generations.

Councillors are very aware of the broader economic conditions and this year’s rate increase to help support the budget was not taken lightly. However, our Asset Management Plan has expenditure targets that we need to meet to achieve minimum levels of service and to improve the Shire’s overall performance,” Cr Gearon said.

The budget was influenced by series of informing strategies that will be adopted by Council over the coming months, including the Long Term Financial Plan, Workforce Plan and Asset Management Plan.

Chief Executive Officer Bill Parker said the budget was developed with a focus on maintaining standards of existing services whilst delivering a proactive asset renewal program and ensuring council’s long-term financial sustainability.

“Council is conscious of the need to be as efficient with its resources as possible, while maintaining assets and providing the services the community needs. This budget keeps Council in a sound position to deliver the community’s expectations,” Mr Parker said.

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