Council’s good news budget

Hume City council. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 228421_03

Michaela Meade

A record spend on capital works is the centrepiece of Hume council’s draft 2021-22 budget.

Councillors unanimously adopted the draft budget last week, which includes a $111 million capital works program and an average rate rise of 1.5 per cent, in keeping with the state government’s cap on rate increases.

Councillor Carly Moore said the proposed capital works program was necessary to address growth in the municipality.

“We have the third largest population growth of any local government area within Victoria,” she said.

“There’s never been a more important time to invest in major projects … for our growing community, to meet their needs and to stimulate our local economy, with the creation of local jobs for… local people.

“We also need to continue to respond to record growth by building strong and connected communities.”

According to council, the draft budget includes funding for 150 “shovel ready” projects.

The council proposes to spend $37 million on the development of a multideck carpark on the site of the Camp Road loop road in Broadmeadows and the redevelopment of the Broadmeadows Hume Global Learning Centre, $8.2 million on the redevelopment of Greenvale Recreation Reserve including the Hume indoor cricket training centre, and $11 million on a new indoor facility on the site of the former Craigieburn Leisure Centre.

“There is so much good news for our community,” Cr Moore said.

“I encourage our community to have a look at this document, and to provide any feedback or submissions to council.”

Cr Trevor Dance said he was concerned about the 1.5 per cent rate rise.

“It’s not what ratepayers want,” Cr Dance said.

“I think we can do better.”

Cr Jack Medcraft said: “[Hume council is] the envy of every other municipality in Melbourne thanks to a long track record of responsible and sustainable financial management.

“We’re getting on with and getting stuff done, building projects and delivering services that matter to our residents and businesses.”

Cr Jarrod Bell said the draft budget told a “dynamic [and] exciting… story”.

“[The budget is] a declaration to our city, to our community, and to our people of what matters and what is important, and what will make a difference,” he said.

“This budget confirms council’s commitment to ensuring that we will always provide the services our community depends on… deserves, and… expects.

“Ours is a story of a positive city, a hopeful city, a city that chooses to commit to meeting the needs of today, and preparing for the demands of tomorrow.

“It is something that we can all be proud of.”

The draft budget is open for public feedback until Tuesday, May 25.