The consultation has now concluded. Budget and Long Term Financial Strategy adopted.

Yarra Council adopted its 2017/18 Budget and Long Term Financial Strategy on 1 August, following extensive community consultation.

The $173m operating expenditure budget enables Council to continue funding hundreds of everyday high quality community programs and services. It also allows us to maintain and improve infrastructure and provides funding for some exciting new projects through a $30m capital works program.

Budget at a glance

  • $173m total operating expenditure budget
  • $30m for capital works projects and other new initiatives
  • $2m for community grants and contributions
  • 2% increase in general rates, in line with the State Government’s Fair Go Rates System
  • 2% increase in the rate rebate for pensioners (from $175 to $178.50 per annum).

Budget highlights

  • $8.4 m for road upgrades
  • $6.8 m for community building upgrades
  • $3.95 m for improving parks, playgrounds, open space and streetscapes
  • $840,000 for laneway upgrades, including bluestone laneway reconstructions
  • $2m for a Local Area Place Making program to improve road safety and residential amenity (including a $1million grant from VicRoads) to be delivered over the next 3 years.
  • $500,000 to extend the separated bike lane in Wellington Street, Collingwood
  • $450,000 for a new park at the corner of Charles and Mollison streets in Abbotsford
  • $240,000 to improve the Victoria Street streetscape in Richmond (to add to a $200,000 State Government grant which Council successfully advocated for)
  • $171,000 to trial an innovative program for food waste recycling
  • $150,000 to support the Cubbies Adventure Playground
  • $102,000 for a marker honouring members of the Stolen Generations

No Waste Service Charge

We will not be introducing a separate waste services charge in 2017/18, after initially proposing to do so in a
previous version of the budget. Instead we will be undertaking a range of efficiency measures.

Measures to address a challenging financial environment

Council’s budget and long term financial strategy are under pressure due to population increases, capital and asset renewal needs, the State Government Rate Cap, debt management requirements and increasing costs of providing services within the constraints of shrinking grants and financial assistance from State and Federal Government.

To address these challenges, we will be undertaking a range of measures including: continuing to achieve operating efficiencies through a review of management staffing levels and corporate structures, further shared services and procurement, reducing the use of cost of external consultants including legal services, more effective debtor management strategies, attracting more external grants, reducing Council’s passenger fleet reliance and other measures.

We will also deliver a comprehensive Property Management Strategy with targets to increase revenue from Councilowned buildings, and look at how we manage Council assets that are surplus to our needs.

Council Plan adopted

Yarra has adopted a new Council Plan, which sets our priorities and direction for the next four years.

The Plan outlines a range of strategies and initiatives that we will implement to achieve our vision for a Yarra that is a ‘vibrant, liveable and sustainable inner city that the community can be proud of’.

In a first for Yarra, it also incorporates our Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan.

To ensure it reflects what’s important to our community, we sought your ideas and feedback in developing the Plan over two rounds of community consultation in late 2016 and early 2017.

Our Council Plan objectives:

  • A healthy Yarra: Community health, safety and wellbeing are a focus in everything we do
  • An inclusive Yarra: Inclusion, diversity and uniqueness are welcomed, respected and celebrated
  • A sustainable Yarra: Council leads on sustainability and protects and enhances its natural environment
  • A liveable Yarra: Development and growth are managed to maintain and enhance the character and
    heritage of the city
  • A prosperous Yarra: Local businesses prosper and creative and knowledge industries thrive
  • A connected Yarra: Connectivity and travel options are environmentally sustainable, integrated and well designed
  • A leading Yarra: Transparency, performance and community participation drive the way we operate