Only two people turned up for a community forum about Greater Shepparton City Council’s 2014-15 draft budget at Tatura’s Ballantyne Centre last Monday evening.BOB NICOL July 9, 2014 3:55am
Disappointing outcome: Greater Shepparton City councillors Michael Polan, Mayor Jenny Houlihan, Kevin ‘Gunna’ Ryan and Dennis Patterson out-numbered attendees at last Monday night’s budget forum at the Ballantyne Centre.
They were Guardian editor Bob Nicol and Tatura Community Plan Committee chair Carl Walters.
Greater Shepparton was represented by four councillors, including Mayor Jenny Houlihan, and six senior staff members.
With the no-show, three councillors and two senior staff left before the meeting began.
Cr Kevin ‘Gunna’ Ryan, one of four councillors present, was furious with the no-show, telling the Guardian ‘‘I don’t know why we bother putting these forums on’’.
‘‘I am embarrassed for the council,’’ he said.
Instead of cancelling the forum, council’s acting director of business Rosanne Kava proceeded with an abridged meeting, providing a brief insight into the 2014-15 budget process, which sees provision for an upgrade of the outdoor area of Tatura Park, including a roof structure ($625 000); rural drainage under the Tatura Flood Plan, Stage Three ($248 000); solar tubing at Tatura Swimming Pool ($25 000); hypo storage tank renewal at Merrigum Swimming Pool ($18 000); and a toilet upgrade at Toolamba ($120 000).
In a brief overview of the 2014-15 draft budget, Ms Kava said rates and charges would increase by 4.95 per cent, as forecast last year.
She said the draft budget also included implementation of the Rating Strategy 2013-17.
‘‘Total operating revenue is $111 million (excluding capital) and total operating expenses are $111 million (excluding capital),’’ Ms Kava said.
‘‘The capital works program is $37 million and there will be a continued commitment to asset renewal.
‘‘The total capital revenue is $6 million and council proposes borrowing $2 million to assist with the development of Shepparton Sport’s Precinct.’’
Ms Kava said there were some 100 projects budgeted for in 2014-15.
Mr Walters expressed disappointment that a number of items listed for funding in the Tatura Community Plan, including walking tracks around Lake Bartlett, were not included in this year’s draft budget and said the committee would be putting in a submission to try and rectify the situation.
Cr Houlihan said the 2014-15 Greater Shepparton City Council budget had been built on the priorities council established for the 2013-17 Council Plan under the five key strategic objectives: active and engages community (social), enhancing the environment (natural), economic prosperity (economic), quality infrastructure (built) and high performing organisation (leadership and governance).
‘‘To achieve this, council delivers more than 150 services to the community through various programs, activities, grants and projects which are aligned to the Strategic Resource Plan and resourced by the annual budget,’’ she said.
‘‘The ongoing challenge to council is in obtaining an appropriate balance between community expectations and desires with the funds available.
‘‘To ensure the optimum utilisation of every dollar raised, council continues to investigate operational efficiencies to reduce ongoing expenditure and work towards a more financially sustainable organisation.
‘‘I encourage you all to read through our draft budget and provide feedback during the consultation process.’’
Ms Kava said public submissions on the draft budget closed at 5 pm on Friday, July 18, with council to hear submissions from 5.30 pm on Tuesday, July 22.
‘‘A special council meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 5 to consider the adoption of the 2014-15 budget,’’ she said.
Two cars have crashed into the fence of a Mason St, Shepparton property
The Australian Waterski Show Team, consisting of 18 skiers from the local area placed second in a nail biting finish at the World Championships held last week in Wisconsin, USA.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
A recent tax ruling means electricity bills could rise.
A kilometre-long levee will be built to protect Rochester, but some believe the money could be better spent elsewhere.
Ky kids celebrate dad
We've seen it, but we still don't believe it.
About 40 people attended the opening of the Booroobanilly Rural Fire Brigade's new station earlier this month.
Heathcote Bowling Club women’s captain Lorraine Speirs and club president Brian Taylor are appealing for new members ahead of the pennant season.
Cobram Barooga's last hopes in the Murray Football League for 2014, Cobram FNC under-14s, lose their grand final against Moama.
Murray Regional Tourism to showcase all Deniliquin has to offer.
Oilseed prices for the 2014 crop look ‘‘very tough’’, with a big United States soybean crop pressuring prices, a commodities expert told a growers’ forum at Mulwala last week.
A group of 14 Benalla P-12 College students flew to Papua New Guinea last Sunday eight-day, 96km treck. It's the sixth year the college has run the trek.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.