Meander Valley Council prioritises infrastructure in approved 2024-25 Budget

Posted on June 14, 2024

Amid challenging economic conditions the Meander Valley Council has approved its 2024-25 budget, underscoring its strong commitment to community infrastructure.

At our Council meeting on 11 June 2024, the budget estimates and capital works program for the coming financial year were approved, with a keen focus on mitigating cost of living pressures.

“Our community’s wellbeing is our top priority. This budget reflects our commitment to maintaining and improving our infrastructure, despite economic hurdles.” said Meander Valley Council Deputy Mayor, Stephanie Cameron.

“Council has reviewed the cost of services delivered to our community, balanced this with the affordability of property owners and achieved a position that will see Council maintain a sustainable position over the course of council’s ten year financial plan,” Deputy Mayor Cameron said.

“Despite budgeting for an operating loss of $299,000, we forecast a return to surplus in the 2025-26 financial year,” Deputy Mayor Cameron continued.

“A 5.0% increase in the general rate was approved, deemed essential to maintain the quality and breadth of our services. Even with this increase, Meander Valley is projected to retain the lowest general rate in Northern Tasmania.” Deputy Mayor Cameron said.

With rising costs for maintaining our infrastructure assets, including roads, bridges, and stormwater systems, Council’s operating budget provides for the continuation of our existing services and many critical projects for 2024-25:

  • Finalising our new Community Strategic Plan
  • Progressing the Prospect Vale/Blackstone Heights Structure Plan
  • A new community street bin replacement program
  • Ensuring environmental compliance of our waste facilities
  • Town placemaking and activation

An allocation of $100,000 has been funded to support local organisations and volunteers through Council’s community grants program.

“We're especially proud of our continued support for local organisations and volunteers. The $100,000 allocated to community grants is a testament to our belief in grassroots initiatives.” Deputy Mayor Stephanie Cameron said.

Rising waste management costs, coupled with the State Government’s Waste Levy doubling from 1 July 2024, will unfortunately impact ratepayers.

While aiming to recover operational costs, Council will absorb some of these expenses, resulting in a small operating loss for waste management in 2024-25.

“With rising costs across the board, something our community is keenly aware of themselves, we’ve had to make tough decisions. However, we believe investments in essential infrastructure will significantly benefit our community in the long run.” said Deputy Mayor Cameron.

The Council also approved a robust $13.2 million capital works program for 2024-25.

Combined with ongoing projects, the Council’s total capital works under management will reach $24.8 million, featuring major initiatives such as:

  • New footpath development from Charlies Lane to Percy Street, Carrick
  • Completion of new Squash Courts, Deloraine
  • A new dog park at Moore Street, Westbury
  • Construction of new public toilets at Alveston Drive, Deloraine
  • Commencement of a staged road rehabilitation program for Country Club Avenue, Prospect Vale
  • Stage 1 of the Deloraine Racecourse Recreation Precinct
  • Road safety measures on Meander Valley Road, Carrick
  • Road safety improvements on Westwood Road, Hagley

“These projects are essential for ensuring the safety and quality of life for our residents. We’re dedicated to making Meander Valley a better place to live, work, and play.” Deputy Mayor Cameron said.

The detailed Budget Estimates Report 2024-25 is available here.