Have your say on the 2023/24 Budget and Council Plan (Year Three)

Last updated on 27 April 2023

Council is inviting feedback on two annual documents that highlight proposed funding for essential services, initiatives and action to progress for the shire in 2023/24.

At the April Scheduled Council Meeting, Councillors endorsed that the draft 2023/24 Budget and updated Council Plan (Year Three) go out for consultation, following months of extensive internal work to produce a balanced budget and refine Council’s key outcomes for the next financial year.

The 2023/24 Budget of around $110 million is supported by planned revenue of around $63 million, primarily from rates and service charges, helping Council to continue delivering almost 100 essential services to the community and implement almost 40 new initiatives to support a growing shire.

Alongside Council funding partnering with State and Federal Government on the ongoing delivery of major projects, such as roads, the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Complex in New Gisborne and the Woodend to Riddells Creek Shared Trail, some of the initiatives proposed to be funded include:

  • Almost $730,000 in total of Council funds across several key sporting upgrades including netball facilities at Kyneton Showgrounds Reserve – a key master plan step – and lighting upgrades at the Riddells Creek Recreation Reserve and New Gisborne tennis courts
  • $20,000 towards fully furnishing the new Lancefield Kindergarten and Maternal Child Health Service, which is benefiting from up to $3 million of Victorian Government funding and is targeted to open by early 2024
  • $10.3 million in capital infrastructure work to roads, including Three Chain Road in Carlsruhe, Sutherlands Road in Clarkefield, Murphy Street in Romsey, Hamilton Road in New Gisborne, the Darraweit-Bolinda Road intersection in Darraweit Guim, and Chanters Lane in Trentham (together with Hepburn Shire Council).

These new initiatives complement the funding required to complete Council’s annual ‘business as usual’ work across the shire, which includes:

  • maintaining more than 1,700km of road network and more than 500 buildings or structures
  • maintaining more than 900 hectares of open space and assisting about 80 sporting clubs
  • delivering kindergarten to more than 850 children, and providing maternal and child health support for up to 600 infants and their families.

Council is seeking to soften cost pressures where practical, such as inviting feedback on a potential alternative user-pays model for green waste at transfer stations to introduce a charge of around $5 per cubic metre, reducing the proposed kerbside collection charge for those with a four-bin service.

To account for rising service costs, Council is proposing increases to rates (in line with the state-wide rate cap of 3.5 per cent), charges for kerbside collection (previously absorbed by Council in 2022/23) and gate fees at resource recovery facilities (transfer stations).

Complementing the draft 2023/24 Budget, the updated Council Plan (Year Three) highlights several actions relating to ongoing priorities for Council that carry over to 2023/24, in addition to year-specific actions such as the development of an updated Reconciliation Action Plan, a Climate Emergency Response Plan (Cool-ER Changes) and a new Waste Education Action Plan.

Mayor Annette Death encouraged everyone to take the time and read the draft documents, to better understand Council’s reasoning and allow them to give informed feedback.

“Everyone – Council included – is facing cost pressures at the moment, but our focus continues to be on delivering our priority projects and various services to a high standard for the benefit of our residents and visitors to the shire,” she said.

“From the regular services such as road maintenance and waste collection, to longer-term strategic initiatives, Council delivers so many important services to the community and we value hearing what matters most to you.”

Chief Executive Officer Bernie O’Sullivan said Council had carefully considered the impacts of nation-wide challenges and how to best mitigate those effects on services delivered to the community.

“These draft documents are the result of hours upon hours of hard work and consideration by our Council staff and Councillors, whose goal is to balance the needs of the community with a sustainable budget,” he said.

“Alongside current priorities, Council will continue to advocate for funding to support priority projects and tourism opportunities that make the Macedon Ranges a special place to live, work and visit.”

Submissions on these draft documents will be accepted from now until 5pm, Friday 19 May. Those who provide a formal submission will also be invited to present on their feedback in person to Council at a Submitters Delegated Committee meeting on 7pm, Wednesday 31 May.

Following consideration of feedback, the final 2023/24 Budget and updated Council Plan are expected to be tabled at the Scheduled Council Meeting on Wednesday 28 June for adoption.

You can view a printed copy of the draft documents in person at our customer service centres, or online: