What are the major initiatives featured in 2017-18?
Enhanced family and community services including;
o New Eliburn Family and Community Centre, Cranbourne East ($4.5m)
o Commence construction of the new Autumn Place Family and Community Centre, Doveton ($3.2m)
o Redevelopment of Strathaird Drive Childrens Centre and Community Room ($2.6m)
o Continued construction to complete Selandra Integrated Community Centre, Clyde North ($2m)
o Significant renewal of James Cook Kindergarten and Community Room, Endeavour Hills ($670,000)
o Commence design and development for Clyde and Clyde North East Family and Community Centres and Cranbourne West Integrated Community Centre
Continued investment into the health and wellbeing of our community including;
o Establishment a regional gymnastics and multi indoor sports facility at the Terry Vickerman Indoor Sports Centre in Cranbourne East ($2.57m)
o Upgrade of netball courts at Olive Reserve Netball Courts, Eumemmering ($1.55m)
o New synthetic soccer pitch and upgrade of flood lighting at Sweeney Reserve, Berwick ($1.4m)
o Rugby field development at Frog Hollow Reserve, Endeavour Hills ($1.4m)
o Continued development of the Barton Recreation Reserve District Soccer and Cricket facility, Cranbourne West ($1.2m)
o Continue community consultation and commence master plan works at the Old Narre Warren North Landfill site (Bayview Park) ($500,000)
o Renewal of soccer pavilions at Waratah Reserve, Eumemmering and Jack Thomas Reserve, Narre Warren North
Improved roads and road safety with improvements across the road network including;
o Construction of Bayview Road, Tooradin ($480,000)
o Intersection upgrade works at Grices Road/Glasscocks Road and Clyde Road intersection ($400,000)
o Greyspot Program ($250,000)
Has Bunjil Place impacted the Budget?
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.
The 2017/18 Budget includes costs to operationalise Bunjil Place.
Council has been planning for many years to operate Bunjil Place, and due to strong financial management we’ve been able to achieve this within a rate capping environment.
Our Efficiency and Effectiveness Program has produced a number of benefits that have helped to find ways to offset the impact of Bunjil Place operations on Council's budget.
The bottom line impact will be a $5.5m increase in this year's budget:
2016/17 - $1.9m (set up phase)
2017/18 - $7.4m (Operational: including staffing/programming and running the facility)
This does not take into account efficiencies achieved across a number of areas as we move into Bunjil Place, e.g. condensing Council office space from three facilities to one or the anticipated income from the facility which will increase in future years.
What are my rates paying for?
Rates are used to fund Council’s investment in community infrastructure like maintaining and building new community and sports and recreation facilities and maintaining roads and parks.
The Draft Budget features an operating budget of $290.6 million to ensure Council continues to provide vital services to more than 300,000 residents and $124.7m capital works program to fund a range of necessary infrastructure projects.
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 is the rate increase in percentage terms?
In 2017-18 the average general rates increase will be 2 per cent, in line with the rate cap. The rates and waste charge for residential properties will increase by an average of $24 per year, ensuring Casey’s rates continue to be among the lowest per capita in outer metropolitan Melbourne.
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 2041, more than 500,000 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.
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.
Why is there a rate rise if you have undertaken an Efficiency and Effectiveness Review?
The expected benefits and savings identified through the Efficiency and Effectiveness Review will be realised in the longer term. Council will invest any future savings into longer term operational improvements to provide future benefits for the community such as enhanced customer service and online services.
Does the Fire Services Property Levy generate additional income for Council?