What is the Budget?
The Budget outlines the services and initiatives that Council will undertake in the 2015-16 financial year. The Budget includes detailed information about the rates and charges to be levied, the capital works program to be undertaken, where Council allocates its financial resources and other financial information within the 2015-16 financial year.
What is the Strategic Resource Plan?
The Strategic Resource Plan is the key medium-term financial plan produced by Council. It is a rolling plan (one year to the next) that summarises the resources allocated and plans developed to achieve the Strategic Objectives over the next four years.
The Strategic Resource Plan lists the key plans and strategies adopted by Council that will achieve its Strategic Objectives. These plans and strategies provide the context for Council’s resourcing requirements over the next four years as outlined in the financial statements and non financial resource statements.
The Annual Action Plan forms part of Council’s Annual budget and sets out the activities to be implemented during the 2015-2016 financial year. The plan consists of a number of activities aligned to the five strategic objectives (key directions) of the Council Plan 2013-2017. Reporting against the Annual Action Plan will be quarterly and will enable increased accountability and transparency to the community.The Strategic Resource Plan should be read in conjunction with the Draft Budget 2015-16, and the Council Plan 2013 – 2017.
What is the rate increase in percentage terms?
In 2015-16 the rates and waste charge for residential properties will increase by an average of 3.87%, which equates to $62 per year or less than $1.20 per week, ensuring Casey’s rates continue to be among the lowest per capita.
Why are Casey’s rates higher than some other Councils?
Casey is faced with planning and providing for a growing community which is a challenge many inner municipalities don’t have. In addition, the increase is from a lower base which makes the increase higher in percentage terms.
Over 120 people move into Casey each week and by 2036, more than 450,000 residents will call Casey home.
We are taking steps now to plan for the future of the city, to ensure there is no compromise to the essential services and infrastructure that residents enjoy now and into the future. This includes continuing our investment into community infrastructure and services.
Saying that, Casey has some of the lowest rates per capita in outer metropolitan Melbourne.
Why can’t you reduce spending to allow for lower rates?
Council understands the financial pressures facing residents, but we cannot afford to stop our investment into community facilities, parks and roads.
While increasing rates is not our preferred option, we have to balance the external costs being placed onto Council and our responsibility to continue delivering high quality services and building community infrastructure.
What are my rates paying for?
Rates are used to fund Council’s investment in community infrastructure like maintaining and building new facilities and maintaining roads and parks.
The Draft Budget features an operating budget of $248 million to ensure Council continues to provide vital services to over 288,000 residents and a $91 million capital works program to fund a range of necessary infrastructure projects.
What are the major initiatives in 2015-16?
Major initiatives in 2015-16 include:
- Commence construction of Casey’s $125m cultural, community and civic facility (including an 800-seat theatre, studio space, art gallery, function centre and library), Bunjil Place, Narre Warren
- Expansion of the Casey Indoor Leisure Centre, Cranbourne East ($6.7m 15/16)
- Completion of the Cranbourne West Family and Community Centre ($2.3m 15/16)
- Sealing and reconstruction of Cross Road ($1.2m) and Craig Road ($1.3m) in Devon Meadows
- Bridgewater Kindergarten extension, Berwick ($1.1m 15/16)
- Commencement of stage one of the Endeavour Hills Community Precinct ($1m 15/16)
- Upgrades to sport pavilion, lighting and ground improvements at Rutter Recreation Reserve, Tooradin ($565,000)
- New footpath and pedestrian bridge between Springfield Drive and Springfield Avenue, Narre Warren ($430,000)
- Completion of synthetic athletics track at Edwin Flack Reserve, Berwick ($500,000)
- Council contribution towards the construction of synthetic soccer pitch, sports ground lighting and car park at Gleneagles Secondary College, Endeavour Hills ($250,000) to supplement the $1m promised by the State Government and $80,000 committed by Gleneagles Secondary College
- Shade and fencing safety improvements at parks ($150,000)
- Provision of community programs at the recently opened Lynbrook Community Centre ($125,000)
Does the Fire Services Property Levy generate additional income for Council?
All Victorian Councils are required to collect this levy on behalf of the Victorian Government, and must pass the full amount on to the State Revenue Office.
Have you increased rates because of rate capping next year?
Council assures residents that rates have not been increased in 2015-16 in advance of the proposed introduction of rate capping in 2016-17.
Council understands the financial pressures facing residents, and any rate increases required in 2015-16 have been calculated to specifically fund essential infrastructure and services in the year ahead.
Will residents receive a discount on rates following the Carbon Tax is repeal?
The City of Casey was one of the first Victorian Councils to respond quickly and pass back savings from the tax repeal to its ratepayers.
Savings from the repeal of the Carbon Tax were passed onto ratepayers last year (2014-15) in the form of a rate cut.
Has the construction of Bunjil Place contributed to the rate rise?
The construction of Bunjil Place has not led to a rate increase. Through many years of responsible financial management, Council can finance the construction without an increase to rates using a combination of savings, a loan and external funding to fund the project.
What if I am having difficulty paying my rates?
Any ratepayer facing financial difficulties is encouraged to contact the Council to discuss payment options in-line with Council’s Hardship Policy.