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Council adopts 2018/19 Budget

27 June 2018

Southern Grampians Shire Council formally adopted its 2018/19 budget tonight, confirming a healthy financial position while making a significant investment in local infrastructure. The Strategic Resource Plan and Pricing Register were also adopted.

The $75.38 million budget features a $32.946 million capital works program which includes investment into local roads, bridges and associated infrastructure; funding for construction of serviced industrial land, improvements of Lake Hamilton and stage two of the Hamilton CBD revitalisation including township entrances.

Mayor Cr Mary-Ann Brown says the 2018/19 budget aims to deliver a number of key projects in the 2017-2021 Council Plan, building on the initial work completed over the last financial year.

“I am confident that we have put forward a financially responsible, balanced budget that benefits the entire community and invests in the future economic and social wellbeing of our region.

“Councillors and Council officers have been working together to plan strategically so that we are making significant investment into our critical infrastructure; providing quality recreation and leisure services across the Shire; planning for the future of our cultural facilities; capitalising on our investment into our assets, and advocating for the identified priorities of the region.

“Of particular focus in our advocacy to the State and Federal Governments is a range of local projects like the Hamilton Regional Airport, The CBD revitalisation project, implementation of our digital strategy and improving passenger transport services for our region,” Cr Brown said.

The budget includes a number of key initiatives to deliver on the Council Plan:

  • Implement a pro-active strategy to promote and grow the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange;
  • Detailed designs for stage two of Hamilton CBD revitalisation project – Lonsdale St/Melville Oval/Gray Street;
  • Deliver on plans for CBD trees and township entrances across the Shire; and
  • Continue advocacy on key Council priorities including State and Federal budgets and elections (State 2018 and Federal 2019).

The total capital works program of almost $33 million sees substantial investment in roads, bridges, footpaths and associated infrastructure and flood recovery works. This is a significant increase on previous capital works programs due to the floods impact of $15.682 million.

Highlights of the capital works program include:

  • A continued significant investment into local roads, bridges and associated infrastructure;
  • Commence construction of the serviced industrial land;
  • Deliver year two of the flood impact repairs and reinstatement works;
  • Complete capping works at Elijah Street Landfill and implement gas treatment system; and
  • Implement Council Buildings Asset Management Strategy and commence works.

“The Budget forecasts the delivery of an operating surplus of $13.839 million, much of which is related to flood support income and pre-payments from Federal and State Government for Financial Assistance Grants for next financial year. Council anticipates holding $7.451 million cash at 30 June 2019 and does not propose to borrow any funds in 2018/19, “Cr Brown said.

“The Budget reflects a number of minor changes due to Council and community feedback including revised Family Day Care fees, animal registration concessions and changes to the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange Agents Fees pending the outcome of the current review. Council has also considered Community budget submissions received and is looking to prioritise the 2018/19 work plan to include support to the Southern Grampians Shire Ice Challenge D-Force project, Cavendish Recreation Reserve Toilet and Amenities facility and the Hamilton Showgrounds Masterplan. We thank all those who made submissions to the budget for their considered feedback,” Cr Brown said.

CEO Michael Tudball said there would be a nominal rise in the municipal charge.

“The municipal charge will increase from $192 to $195 (a 1.6 percent increase bringing the total collected to 10 percent of rate revenue). Rates will increase by the mandatory 2.25 percent set by the State Government, after Council again resolved not to seek a variation to the legislated rate cap for 2018/19. Some ratepayers may experience a change in their rates above or below 2.25 percent, depending on the type of property they own and where it is located, due to changes in property values,” Mr Tudball said.

“With the State Government now mandating annual valuations of property, property owners may notice increased valuations The overall increase in property valuations from 2016 – 2018 was 5.7 percent or $193 million. This is distributed across all property types (Rural, Residential/Lifestyle and Commercial) with a total combined value of total $3,584,334,000. This is a positive sign for landowners and home owners across the Shire, as these recent valuations predict strong future growth for our region.

“The main valuation movement across sectors is in rural properties, increasing by around 10 percent, with residential and commercial increasing by only 1.5 percent. There are good signs for some townships however with Dunkeld property values increasing by over 12 percent, Cavendish by just on 12 percent and Glenthompson by 10 percent. In the commercial/industrial sector again Dunkeld is leading the way with around 6 percent growth in values and almost 4 percent in Hamilton. Property valuations are used as the basis for levying rates and therefore each property’s contribution to Council’s overall rate revenue is determined by its valuation,” Mr Tudball concluded.

Cr Brown said she was confident Council had been balanced in its approach with this budget.
“We are always focused on the continued delivery of quality services for the community but the reality is we are operating in a constrained financial environment. It is essential that we continue to review all our activities against identified community priorities and the ongoing service review and planning process assists with this,” Cr Brown said.

“Council is confident the budget delivers fairness, responsibility and opportunity in equal measure,” Cr Brown concluded.

The Budget 2018/19, Strategic Resource Plan and Pricing Register form part of Council’s overall planning, reporting and accountability framework and are available to view at

Media Enquiries:
Alison Quade | 0429601208 |

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