Darebin's Annual Budget 2019-20 adopted!

Council's 2019-20 budget has been adopted!

Council has adopted the Annual Budget 2019-20 after community consultation and consideration of submissions made by the public. The budget was developed through an extensive community engagement process that included local people from every part of Darebin and outlines the financial resources we need to deliver the 100 services that we provide to the community. It also outlines proposed funding allocations for our capital works program and operating projects.

The budget strives to maintain a critical balance between costs, quality, and value to our ratepayers.

The budget proposes a rate increase of 2.5 percent. This is in line with the Victorian Government’s new Fair Go Rates System which has capped rates increases by Victorian councils to the forecast movement of 2.5 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

We are proud to present a budget that maintains our current service levels without the need to apply for an exemption to the rate cap. We have achieved this by working together to approach the budget with balance, fairness and operational efficiency in mind.

This budget is community focused and continues to achieve the goals and objectives of the Council Plan.

The Annual Budget presents a financially responsible budget that maintains all services and infrastructure from the previous year as well as delivering projects and services that are valued by our community.

Key highlights of the Annual Budget include:

  • Continued progress to achieve the goals and objectives of the Council Plan
  • Delivery of a large capital works program
  • Delivery of high quality services and programs for the community
  • Maintenance of our long term financial sustainability
  • No borrowings

Sustainability initiatives include:

  • Doubling solar power in Darebin
  • Supporting Climate Emergency Darebin and the Darebin Nature Trust
  • Dramatically improving walking and cycling infrastructure
  • Continued implementation of the Climate Emergency Plan
  • Investment in range of energy efficient initiatives

Community initiatives include:

  • Ongoing provision of over 100 services to residents, businesses and community groups from the early years - maternal and child health and family services - through to retirement and seniors activities. Services also include waste collection, youth services, libraries, arts programs, festivals and more
  • Preparation of a Community Engagement Strategy to support Councils deep commitment to increasing community participation in all of our decision making processes
  • Ongoing support and advocacy to strengthen our diverse and multicultural community
  • Ongoing review of our services to respond to changing community needs, significant population growth, financial challenges

Public infrastructure initiatives include:

  • Ongoing works for a new multi-purpose stadium at John Cain Reserve to provide more sports opportunities for women and girls
  • Planning for future improvements to the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre and the Reservoir Leisure Centre
  • A wide program of improvements and new works in our parks, open spaces, playgrounds and sporting facilities across the municipality
  • Ongoing investment to ensure our critical assets and infrastructure are maintained including roads, footpaths and drains
  • The ongoing provision of an outstanding performing arts and cultural programme

Strategy and planning initiatives include:

  • A significant program of strategic initiatives aimed at setting out a long term, integrated plan for the future of the City and guiding land use, development, housing affordability, future community and physical infrastructure and transport requirements and opportunities for economic growth
  • Finalisation of a new Open Space Strategy and the preparation of controls to ensure ongoing funding for open space to support our growing community.
  • A new developer contributions levy for infrastructure to serve our growing community
  • Continuing work on the Preston Urban Design Framework including updating the structure plan to ensure we have a clear plan to address growth and change in and around Preston


Background on Council's annual budget:

Every year Council is required by legislation to prepare an Annual Budget.
The Annual Budget contains a description of activities and initiatives to be funded in the budget and how it will contribute to achieving the strategic objectives in the Council Plan.

What are we doing?

We want to better align the budget to community needs and expectations. We have listened to the community around ideas they have and what matters most through a series of city-wide listening posts, community workshops and through this online platform.

The 2019/20 Proposed Budget for Darebin has been prepared in alignment with the Council Plan 2017-2021. It seeks to maintain and improve services and infrastructure as well as deliver projects and services that are valued by our community.

Some of the key highlights funded in the proposed budget include:

  1. Walking and Cycling: Safe travel projects and infrastructure to promote cycling and walking, and education for schools to increase the numbers of children and parents walking and cycling to school.
  2. Social Inclusion: A dedicated Aboriginal Maternal & Child Health Nurse, affordable housing program and implementing the recommendations of the Age Friendly Darebin review.
  3. Improving recreation facilities across the municipality: Including the multi-sports stadium, Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Reservoir Leisure Centre and upgrades to sports grounds and pavilions.
  4. Creative Industries: Growing the print and digital collection for library customers, creating a home for artists and cultural organisations at the Northcote Town Hall, and providing equipment for arts venues and community hubs.
  5. Level crossing removal opportunities: Engaging with the Level Crossing Removal Project, residents and traders in relation to the removal of the level crossing in Reservoir.
  6. Edwardes Lake Park Athletics Track: Design and construction, along with supporting infrastructure including a Changing Places public toilet facility.
  7. Road resurfacing program: This program uses recycled asphalt and addresses our commitment to responding to the climate emergency in a tangible way.

During the public display of the draft budget from 10 April to 9 May, we ran a series of 6 pop-ups across the city and 3 Council meet-and-greet sessions where there was an opportunity for the community to discuss the draft budget with council staff and Councillors.

What’s Next?

Thank you for your feedback and budget submissions! The 2019-20 budget has been adopted and the following documents are available in the document library:

  • Adopted Budget 2019-2020
  • Strategic Resource Plan 2019-2023
  • Budget Highlights 2019 -2020


Goal 1. A Sustainable City

Goal: We will be leaders in creating a sustainable city through local innovation projects that address climate change.

Background: Australians are amongst the biggest polluters in the world. We must urgently reduce our greenhouse emissions.

Our challenge is to lead the way by creating a city fueled by renewable energy, with clean lungs made by green space and gardens, and where cycling is the preferred form of transport for local trips.


Goal 2. Opportunities to live well

Goal: We will improve the wellbeing of people in our community by providing opportunities for them to live their lives well.

Background: Darebin is set to grow by at least 40 000 people in the next fifteen years.

Our challenge is to maintain and extend our community’s opportunities to be healthy, participate, and connect with each other, as the population grows.

We make our opportunities accessible to all, including our most vulnerable.


Goal 3. A liveable city

Goal: We will ensure our planning system facilitates high-quality and sustainable development that extracts social, environmental and economic benefits for our community.

Background: Melbourne looks likely to grow to become Australia’s biggest city in the next 30 years.

Our challenge is to remain the best place in the city to live by improving it as Darebin grows.

We will work with the community and other governments to reach this goal.


Goal 4. A strong economy

Goal: We will support and attract a diversity of local businesses and industries by fostering an environment in which they can thrive.

Background: Our businesses contribute $5.8 billion annually to the local economy

Our challenge is to foster a diversity of business opportunities as the economy changes.

We will work with local business and regional partnerships to reach this goal.


Goal 5. Involving our diverse community

Goal: We will lead on equity and recognise our diverse community as our greatest asset for solving future challenges.

Background: We are one of the most diverse local government areas in Melbourne and residents believe diversity makes life in Darebin better.

Our challenge is to lead in the development of inclusion policies and practices, and ensure diverse voices are included in our decision-making.


Goal 6. A well governed Council

Goal: We will be a leading, modern, and open council to meet our challenges, now and in the future.

Background: A changing world requires smarter decisions and new approaches.

Our challenge is to transform our business to reduce costs and work better with others to get the best outcomes for our community.

Council's 2019-20 budget has been adopted!

Council has adopted the Annual Budget 2019-20 after community consultation and consideration of submissions made by the public. The budget was developed through an extensive community engagement process that included local people from every part of Darebin and outlines the financial resources we need to deliver the 100 services that we provide to the community. It also outlines proposed funding allocations for our capital works program and operating projects.

The budget strives to maintain a critical balance between costs, quality, and value to our ratepayers.

The budget proposes a rate increase of 2.5 percent. This is in line with the Victorian Government’s new Fair Go Rates System which has capped rates increases by Victorian councils to the forecast movement of 2.5 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

We are proud to present a budget that maintains our current service levels without the need to apply for an exemption to the rate cap. We have achieved this by working together to approach the budget with balance, fairness and operational efficiency in mind.

This budget is community focused and continues to achieve the goals and objectives of the Council Plan.

The Annual Budget presents a financially responsible budget that maintains all services and infrastructure from the previous year as well as delivering projects and services that are valued by our community.

Key highlights of the Annual Budget include:

  • Continued progress to achieve the goals and objectives of the Council Plan
  • Delivery of a large capital works program
  • Delivery of high quality services and programs for the community
  • Maintenance of our long term financial sustainability
  • No borrowings

Sustainability initiatives include:

  • Doubling solar power in Darebin
  • Supporting Climate Emergency Darebin and the Darebin Nature Trust
  • Dramatically improving walking and cycling infrastructure
  • Continued implementation of the Climate Emergency Plan
  • Investment in range of energy efficient initiatives

Community initiatives include:

  • Ongoing provision of over 100 services to residents, businesses and community groups from the early years - maternal and child health and family services - through to retirement and seniors activities. Services also include waste collection, youth services, libraries, arts programs, festivals and more
  • Preparation of a Community Engagement Strategy to support Councils deep commitment to increasing community participation in all of our decision making processes
  • Ongoing support and advocacy to strengthen our diverse and multicultural community
  • Ongoing review of our services to respond to changing community needs, significant population growth, financial challenges

Public infrastructure initiatives include:

  • Ongoing works for a new multi-purpose stadium at John Cain Reserve to provide more sports opportunities for women and girls
  • Planning for future improvements to the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre and the Reservoir Leisure Centre
  • A wide program of improvements and new works in our parks, open spaces, playgrounds and sporting facilities across the municipality
  • Ongoing investment to ensure our critical assets and infrastructure are maintained including roads, footpaths and drains
  • The ongoing provision of an outstanding performing arts and cultural programme

Strategy and planning initiatives include:

  • A significant program of strategic initiatives aimed at setting out a long term, integrated plan for the future of the City and guiding land use, development, housing affordability, future community and physical infrastructure and transport requirements and opportunities for economic growth
  • Finalisation of a new Open Space Strategy and the preparation of controls to ensure ongoing funding for open space to support our growing community.
  • A new developer contributions levy for infrastructure to serve our growing community
  • Continuing work on the Preston Urban Design Framework including updating the structure plan to ensure we have a clear plan to address growth and change in and around Preston


Background on Council's annual budget:

Every year Council is required by legislation to prepare an Annual Budget.
The Annual Budget contains a description of activities and initiatives to be funded in the budget and how it will contribute to achieving the strategic objectives in the Council Plan.

What are we doing?

We want to better align the budget to community needs and expectations. We have listened to the community around ideas they have and what matters most through a series of city-wide listening posts, community workshops and through this online platform.

The 2019/20 Proposed Budget for Darebin has been prepared in alignment with the Council Plan 2017-2021. It seeks to maintain and improve services and infrastructure as well as deliver projects and services that are valued by our community.

Some of the key highlights funded in the proposed budget include:

  1. Walking and Cycling: Safe travel projects and infrastructure to promote cycling and walking, and education for schools to increase the numbers of children and parents walking and cycling to school.
  2. Social Inclusion: A dedicated Aboriginal Maternal & Child Health Nurse, affordable housing program and implementing the recommendations of the Age Friendly Darebin review.
  3. Improving recreation facilities across the municipality: Including the multi-sports stadium, Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Reservoir Leisure Centre and upgrades to sports grounds and pavilions.
  4. Creative Industries: Growing the print and digital collection for library customers, creating a home for artists and cultural organisations at the Northcote Town Hall, and providing equipment for arts venues and community hubs.
  5. Level crossing removal opportunities: Engaging with the Level Crossing Removal Project, residents and traders in relation to the removal of the level crossing in Reservoir.
  6. Edwardes Lake Park Athletics Track: Design and construction, along with supporting infrastructure including a Changing Places public toilet facility.
  7. Road resurfacing program: This program uses recycled asphalt and addresses our commitment to responding to the climate emergency in a tangible way.

During the public display of the draft budget from 10 April to 9 May, we ran a series of 6 pop-ups across the city and 3 Council meet-and-greet sessions where there was an opportunity for the community to discuss the draft budget with council staff and Councillors.

What’s Next?

Thank you for your feedback and budget submissions! The 2019-20 budget has been adopted and the following documents are available in the document library:

  • Adopted Budget 2019-2020
  • Strategic Resource Plan 2019-2023
  • Budget Highlights 2019 -2020


Goal 1. A Sustainable City

Goal: We will be leaders in creating a sustainable city through local innovation projects that address climate change.

Background: Australians are amongst the biggest polluters in the world. We must urgently reduce our greenhouse emissions.

Our challenge is to lead the way by creating a city fueled by renewable energy, with clean lungs made by green space and gardens, and where cycling is the preferred form of transport for local trips.


Goal 2. Opportunities to live well

Goal: We will improve the wellbeing of people in our community by providing opportunities for them to live their lives well.

Background: Darebin is set to grow by at least 40 000 people in the next fifteen years.

Our challenge is to maintain and extend our community’s opportunities to be healthy, participate, and connect with each other, as the population grows.

We make our opportunities accessible to all, including our most vulnerable.


Goal 3. A liveable city

Goal: We will ensure our planning system facilitates high-quality and sustainable development that extracts social, environmental and economic benefits for our community.

Background: Melbourne looks likely to grow to become Australia’s biggest city in the next 30 years.

Our challenge is to remain the best place in the city to live by improving it as Darebin grows.

We will work with the community and other governments to reach this goal.


Goal 4. A strong economy

Goal: We will support and attract a diversity of local businesses and industries by fostering an environment in which they can thrive.

Background: Our businesses contribute $5.8 billion annually to the local economy

Our challenge is to foster a diversity of business opportunities as the economy changes.

We will work with local business and regional partnerships to reach this goal.


Goal 5. Involving our diverse community

Goal: We will lead on equity and recognise our diverse community as our greatest asset for solving future challenges.

Background: We are one of the most diverse local government areas in Melbourne and residents believe diversity makes life in Darebin better.

Our challenge is to lead in the development of inclusion policies and practices, and ensure diverse voices are included in our decision-making.


Goal 6. A well governed Council

Goal: We will be a leading, modern, and open council to meet our challenges, now and in the future.

Background: A changing world requires smarter decisions and new approaches.

Our challenge is to transform our business to reduce costs and work better with others to get the best outcomes for our community.

Thank you for your questions! This feedback process has concluded.

  • Why have you spent so much in McFadzean Ave recently and now with no maintenance it looks like a ghetto disgusting dirty and broken may as well return it to the way it was Not to mention extra noise as speed humps only serves a small amount of people rest use as fun not slowing down at all for humps very dissatisfied

    Frank asked 3 months ago

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in response.

    In 2016 McFadzean Avenue was identified as a high priority road for safety improvements. This is because technical analysis and community engagement showed us that a high number of cars were driving over the speed limit along the avenue.

    Consultation for safety improvements in this location took place in April 2016. In 2018, we installed special speed bumps and other safety measures to protect pedestrians, local residents and, in particular, people using the bus service along the avenue.

    However, maintenance of the area was not included in our current schedule, so we’re glad you asked the question. We’ll make sure we get our people to make improvements along the avenue before the end of June.

    Kind Regards,

    Allan

  • Hi, I may not be looking in the right part of the document, but I couldn't see planning for regular organic waste collection. Is this something the Council will be allocating funding towards? Many councils are successfully running organic waste collection programs, as an apartment dweller would love to see a program like that allocated resources. Thanks, Isabella

    Bella asked 3 months ago

    Hi Isabella,

    Thank you for your question.

    The draft 2019-2020 Budget includes provision for roll out of food waste recycling as part of the current green waste service later in 2019.  Recent modelling of the expect costs and savings based on the 2018 trial and experience of other Melbourne councils shows that rolling out food waste recycling as part of the current service  expected to be a similar cost to the current service, and therefore the draft budget does not specifically identify the project in the documentation. 

    The project is specifically identified in Council’s Community Plan Action Plan 2018-2019 which commits Council to ‘Finalise a model for the introduction of a city-wide food waste recycling service’.  Council conducted a six month food waste recycling trial in 2018. The results of the trial and lessons from similar trials at other councils have been now been used to inform the development of a model for roll out of the service.  Council will consider a report on that proposes a roll out model in late May 2019.

    Darebin has good coverage of the City with its green waste service at 61% of households, which means that most standalone households use the service.  Food waste makes up approximately 38% of Darebin’s kerbside household waste sent to landfill. Introducing food waste recycling is one of the single biggest opportunities for quickly reducing carbon emissions from services that Council manages. It also supports the circular economy through the creation of nutrient rich compost, used by Victorian farmers.

    Kind Regards,

    Allan

  • What has happened to the resources allocated for the West Preston Lakeside Football Club to improve facilities for the inclusion of the Women’s Football and Cricket teams?

    Johns Aching asked 3 months ago

    Hi,

    Thank you for your question.

    The 2019/20 draft budget has 1.01 million dollars for a pavilion upgrade at JE Moore Reserve.

    This upgrade will provide female friendly facilities for participants at West Preston Lakeside Football Netball Club and Preston WYC District Cricket Club and is supported by Sport and Recreation Victoria.

    Kind Regards,

    Allan

  • Why is there no specific initiative regarding the major problem of street litter and rubbish? Why is there no specific performance requirement for council officers and councillors to respond to written communications in reasonable time frames?

    ahale47 asked 3 months ago

    Hi,

    Thank you for your questions.

    In relation to street litter and rubbish, the 2019/20 budget allows for and extensive waste management service which includes:

    ·  Weekly residential kerbside waste collection service

    ·  Fortnightly residential kerbside recycling collection service

    ·  Fortnightly residential kerbside green waste collection service (for participating properties)

    ·  Street sweeping of residential streets every six weeks

    ·  Emptying of street Litter bins located in commercial areas seven nights per week and several times per week in less trafficked areas

    ·  Emptying of Parks litter bins daily

    ·  A response crew for requests to remove illegally dumped rubbish, usually within 48 hours (4044 requests were responded to in the 2018 calendar year)

    ·  A proactive cleaning crew to remove rubbish from known hot spots

    ·  An annual area based hard waste service (winter)

    ·  An annual limited booked hard waste service (Spring)

    Responses to written communication are guided by the following  Service Excellence.


    Kind Regards,

    Allan

  • Is the Fairfield Pop Up on 24 April at any particular place in Station Street Fairfield? It would help if there was a more specific location. Thanks. Wendy

    wendy asked 3 months ago

    Hi Wendy,

    Thank you for your question. The pop-up will most likely be located between St Paul's Anglican Church and Baker's Delight in Station Street Fairfield.

    Kind Regards,

    Allan

  • Does "tomorrow" mean Wednesday 24 April?

    wendy asked 3 months ago

    Hi Wendy,

    Yes tomorrow does mean Wednesday 24 April.

    Kind Regards,

    Allan

  • I noticed there is no money being allocated to support the community to develop skills through opportunities for volunteering. Darebin is one local government area that seems to be falling behind many local councils with its lack of support for volunteer opportunities for its community. With low job opportunities there is a high need for support to enable people to develop skills and confidence through volunteering and DIVRS are not doing enough to coordinate services in the City of Darebin to be able to increase opportunities for the Darebin Community. If you want to make Darebin a liveable city we need opportunities to do meaningful volunteering in the community that can support people to find jobs. As per the social determinants of health, access to employment, housing and accommodation are more important than any 'environmentally designed play space or road surface'!

    annonymous asked 3 months ago

    Hi,

    Yes, volunteering is important to community health and wellbeing.  Currently, Council’s volunteer effort is mostly through the seven neighbourhood houses and DIVRS – the 2019/20 budget includes $643,022 Council contribution across these groups. You are welcome to make a submission on changes you would like to see to the budget.  You may also be interested in the Towards an Age Friendly Darebin report, which includes a recommendation to establish a new Darebin volunteering service – details here.

    Kind Regards,

    Allan.