Thursday, 10 May 2012
The City of Melbourne will today deliver a draft budget characterised by financial responsibility and innovation.
A zero per cent rate rise underscores Melbourne’s reputation as an attractive place to live, work and invest and minimises the financial impact on ratepayers.
Rates payments are an important source of income and as the city grows, a greater number of properties come on stream to support council initiatives.
However, it should be noted that this is a revaluation year and some ratepayers will experience an increase where others see a reduction, as the market value of their property changes. In total, the City of Melbourne anticipates rates revenue similar to previous years.
The draft 2012-13 budget contains a record $117 million investment in infrastructure and $364 million on community services.
Investments include $10.2 million for stormwater harvesting initiatives, a $5.6 million plan to strengthen and expand the city’s bike network, $2.6 million to enhance Melbourne’s iconic streetscapes and $630,000 for city safety initiatives to cement Melbourne’s place as a prosperous and sustainable city.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the budget signals the completion of many projects which, coupled with future capital investment, will ensure Melbourne remains prosperous in the face of growth and change.
“Whether it is higher bills, job losses or economic uncertainty, this budget has been framed in light of the many financial pressures our community is facing,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We want to keep things in balance, making sound economic decisions so that we can continue to deliver key services and infrastructure to our community without passing on the financial burden.
“Our sensible approach to managing our finances combined with a concerted effort to keep rates down has seen us continually deliver what the community needs now and what it will need in the future.”
The draft budget focuses on projects from one end of the city to the other. Investments include:
- $4.7 million toward the new Docklands Library and Community Centre;
- $6.5 million to finish the revitalisation of the city’s spine, Swanston Street;
- $4 million to complete the construction of the Carlton Baths and Family Resource Centre which is expected to open in October;
- $2 million to complete the design and start refurbishment of the Kathleen Syme Centre.
Future Melbourne (Finance and Governance) Chair, Councillor Brian Shanahan said the City of Melbourne remains in a strong financial position with no debt, a AAA/A-1+ rating and strong cash reserves.
“Over the term of this Council we have returned a combined surplus of over $38 million, all of which has been reinvested back into the community,” Councillor Shanahan said.
“This budget has a projected surplus of $1.07 million. We are confident that through wise oversight we will continue to fulfil our responsibility as good economic managers, protecting and enhancing the amenity of the city.”
The draft budget will be considered at a special meeting of Future Melbourne Committee and Council Meeting at 4pm today and is open for public consultation from Friday 11 May until 5pm Friday 8 June 2012. A final version will be considered by Council on Tuesday 26 June 2012.