At Hindmarsh Shire Councils monthly meeting last week, council approved the shire’s draft budget for the forthcoming financial year.

Council will increase rates by 2.25 percent, in line with the ‘Essential Services Commission’ (ESC) calculation method. This follows from last years rate increase of four percent after council had successfully applied to the ESC for an increase.

Council also intends to increase the cost of kerbside waste/recycling collection charges by $21.00 to $351.00 for the standard waste service (which includes a 120 litre bin for general waste and a 240 litre bin for recycling materials) for Hindmarsh residents reflecting the rising costs of waste management and global recycling challenges.

The council has also introduced a general waste charge to cover waste costs, not covered by the kerbside collection / recycling charge. These new charges will be phased in over three years. For 2018/19, the general waste charge will be $9.00, payable using the same criteria as the municipal charge. A municipal charge is a flat charge that can be used to offset some of the council’s administrative costs.

Council claim these rises in waste charges reflect the cost of providing the services and Council does not make a profit on waste.

Budget Key Initiatives

Community Infrastructure

  • Construction of a new skate park at Nhill, supported by state government funding of $100,000.
  • $50,000 in recurrent and $50,000 in capital as seed funding for grant opportunities arising during the year.
  • $5,000 assistance grant allocation to assist public halls throughout the shire that are not owned by council.

Tourism Development

  • $10,000 to support the Rainbow Desert Enduro in August 2018.
  • $10,000 to update the Nhill Aerodrome Master Plan.

Economic Development:

Business Assistance Grants. The Business Assistance Grants Program (BAGP) aims to support local businesses expanding their operations or new businesses, large and small, to establish in the shire. It will provide assistance to offset costs associated with expanding or establishing a business in Hindmarsh Shire. $20,000 has been included in the 2018/19 budget for this project.

Empowered Communities

  • $7,500 to each of the shire’s four Town Committees. This funding can be used as seed funding for grants that will fund works important to the community in each town. In its third year, this funding has enabled some fantastic projects in our towns over the years.
  • Hindmarsh Youth Council funding of $10,000 to allow this successful initiative to continue.
  • $30,000 to its Community Action Grants which will enable community groups to apply for funding for events, minor facility upgrades, small equipment and community assistance.

Infrastructure

  • $100,000 to replace the roof at the Dimboola sports stadium which is at the end of its serviceable life.
  • Local Roads: Block 40 Road, Broughton $144,955; Katyil -Wail Road $132,170; Netherby – Baker Road $155,052 and Pigick Bus Route Road $305,976 will be reconstructed in 2018/19.
  • Construction of Sealed Pavements: Council has budgeted for a further two urban reconstruction projects – Anderson Street, Dimboola and Elgin Street in Nhill. These projects carry a total cost of around $470,000.
  • Five unsealed road resheet projects: A Bells Road, Antwerp – Katyil Road, W Cooks Road, Geodetic Road, and Greig/McKenzie Road will total more than $380,000.
  • Sealed Pavement Shoulder Resheet: In 2018/19 Council will be undertaking three sealed pavement shoulder resheets on Block 40 Road, Diapur – Yanac Road, and Salisbury – Woorak Road at just under $190,000.
  • Council will be undertaking 17 reseal and final seal projects in 2018/19, totalling more than eight hundred thousand dollars. These projects include Victoria, Lloyd and McDonald Streets in Dimboola, Gunn, Railway, George Streets in Nhill, Nhill – Murrayville Road, Netherby – Baker Road, Lorquon Palms Road, Antwerp – Woorak Road, Winiam East Road, Katyil – Wail Road, Tarranyurk West Road, Jeparit East Road, Rainbow – Nhill Road, and Rainbow Rises Road.
  • Kerb and Channel: Wimmera Street in Dimboola, Scott Street in Jeparit, and Nelson Street in Nhill will be constructed costing approximately $250,000.
  • Carpark Renewal: Resurfacing Bongiorno’s carpark in the Nhill CBD median strip with asphalt at a cost of $66,000

The public will be invited to make submission regarding the draft budget and the review of submissions and final adoption will be made at the June 27 council meeting.

Cr Rob Gersch moved to approve the draft budget and was seconded by Cr Debra Nelson.