Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Moira Shire Mayor tips budget changes

Moira Shire Council Mayor Peter Mansfield tips budget alterations, flagging possible funding for a Nathalia art gallery.

TONI BRIENT May 8, 2014 3:09am

Moira Shire Council councillor and mayor Peter MansfieldCobram Courier on 29/01/2014 CAPTION: Moira Shire Council councillor and mayor Peter Mansfield


Moira Shire Mayor Peter Mansfield has tipped council’s draft 2014-15 budget will be altered significantly during community consultation this month.

Nathalia’s GRAIN Store art gallery was one of many organisations Cr Mansfield said could still receive funding, despite none being allocated in the draft budget released last Monday.

‘‘I cannot speak for the rest of council, but I think the GRAIN Store is high up on the list to be included in monies distributed by the shire,’’ Cr Mansfield said.

‘‘That’s one of them, but I know there will be various organisations (to receive funding).’’

But GRAIN Store board member Veronica Kelly said she wasn’t holding her breath.

‘‘If it’s on top of the list why wasn’t it in the budget?’’ she said.

‘‘If it didn’t come down in this budget, I can’t imagine why it would be at the top of some other possible draft.’’

Cr Mansfield said he expected the GRAIN Store funds to be given through a grants program, but wouldn’t speculate on an amount.

Mrs Kelly said the gallery would be forced to close in months if it didn’t receive the $100 000 it needed.

‘‘(We have given council) written material, business plans, we’ve spent months drafting all kinds of budgets,’’ she said.

‘‘We will not draft any more material and will not go to any more meetings.

‘‘They’ve had everything they need as far as we’re concerned.’’

Council is accepting submissions on its draft budget until June 4, and will hold a special council meeting to hear public submissions on June 10.

Cr Mansfield said changes to the draft budget would be funded from savings in ‘‘other areas’’, but said he didn’t expect council’s overall spending to increase.

Acting Moira Shire chief executive Peter Bertolus on Tuesday told ABC radio the budget was ‘‘very responsible’’ and would alleviate financial pressure from council ‘‘if it proceeds in its current form’’.

The draft budget estimated council’s total revenue at $48.5million and total expenditure at $50.7million.

Cr Mansfield said the $9.7million capital works program could also change.

‘‘We invite all groups that wish to receive money from council for the benefit of the community to make submissions to council during the budget deliberation (process),’’ Cr Mansfield said.

‘‘There’s no use us bringing our own budget down to find a month or so later that there are other organisations who would like to receive funding.’’

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