Meander Valley Council Adopts $20m operating budget

Posted on July 15, 2020


Meander Valley Council has adopted the 2020-21 Budget at its July meeting, confirming a nil increase in General Rates for property owners.

In determining this year’s budget Council considered a number of pressures including annual increases in operational costs, loss of dividends from TasWater and the rollout of their $1.7 million COVID-19 Community and Business Support Package.

“Despite these pressures, Council has elected to place a hold on any increase to the General Rate to assist the community to manage and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 disease emergency,” Mayor Wayne Johnston said.

General Rate revenue funds a range of Council services such as animal control, public and environmental health, management of planning and building regulations and the maintenance and construction of roads, bridges, recreation and community facilities. The rates and charges income for 2020-21 is $13 million and goes some way to funding Council’s total operating costs of $21.5 million.

“Waste continues to be a challenging space. Due to market driven changes, the costs associated with recycling collection and processing have risen by over 70% in the past two years and, as a result kerbside collection charges have had to increase by a small margin equating to an additional $18 per year for a standard 140 litre bin.

Council is continuing to be proactive in our response to this issue and as part of our Annual Plan, we will be undertaking a review of waste management services to determine the best way to manage costs, meet service expectations and limit the level of waste going to landfill,” Mayor Wayne Johnston said.

In addition to adopting the 2020-21 Budget, Council also approved the 2020-21 Capital Works Program, providing for a number of infrastructure projects that will be delivered over the next twelve months. At a total value of $11.5 million, the Program includes projects which have been brought forward to assist with local economic and business recovery.

Road and bridge assets account for $5 million of the overall spend with Council investing further in recreation facilities at Prospect Vale, Hadspen and Deloraine.

“Throughout the development of this years’ budget, we have been very conscious of our role in assisting to keep the costs of living down. Despite increases to our operational costs, we have fully funded our COVID-19 Community and Business Support Package, maintained capacity for capital works projects and service delivery and continue to have the lowest General Rate in Northern Tasmania.

We are budgeting for an operating loss for 2020-21 which cannot be sustained in the long term, but consider this an appropriate measure given the difficult position many in our community find themselves.” Mayor Wayne Johnston said.

For detailed copies of the 2020-21 budget, click here