Darebin City Council adopted the 2012/2013 Budget at the Council Meeting this week, after community consultation and consideration of submissions made by the public.

“I am very proud of this budget,” said Darebin Mayor, Cr Steven Tsitas.

“It delivers a range of new and existing services and programs, maintains service delivery standards, maintains a robust capital works program, whilst retiring a significant portion of our existing modest borrowing levels in preparation for future needs, such as Darebin’s contribution to unfunded superannuation liabilities.”

“All of which we will deliver with a modest 4.6% rate rise. Darebin compares very favourably against our neighbouring municipalities which have adopted rate rises of 5.5% on average.”

“This is sound financial management which will deliver for our community, now and into the future.”

This Budget proposes a number of new initiatives and maintenance of existing high levels of service to programs such as those below:

  • Environment in excess of $3.5 million;
  • Nearly $1 million for Environmental Health
  • Community planning and social inclusion in excess of $3.3 million;
  • Library and Youth services in excess of $5.5 million;
  • New initiatives for arts and cultural programs ($150,000) to establish partnerships between Darebin Council and some of Melbourne’s festivals, cultural events and artistic companies with the key focus of involving our community;
  • Broadband and wireless internet connections around activity centres ($40,000), improve access at Springthorpe ($40,000) and advocate to ensure that Darebin and the region become one of the first to have NBN; and
  • Council will also be allocating $20,000 for the provision of an e-waste collection service, and $18,000 to investigate ways to minimise waste to land fill.

The Budget allocates new funding of $32.1 million to capital works projects in 2012/2013, including;

  • A major upgrade to the all abilities playspace at EdwardesLake $0.45 million;
  • A contribution of $1.0 million to the $4.8 million redevelopment of the Keon Park Children’s Hub;
  • Renewal of Council’s extensive network of off road bicycle paths for $2 million over the next three years;
  • A contribution of $0.68 million to complete the $4.6 million redevelopment of the Reservoir library;

Nine playgrounds will also be upgraded and replaced as part of Council’s $0.57 million Playspace Renewal Program.

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