Have your say on Strathbogie Shire Council’s draft budget

By David Rak

 Strathbogie Shire residents are being encouraged to attend an online feedback session to have their say on the 2020-21 draft budget.

The online feedback sessions will create opportunities for the community to learn more about the draft budget, hear from their local councillors and, most importantly, have their say.

Five ward-based sessions will be held from the week starting May 25. The sessions are being held online to ensure council meets the Victorian Government’s social distancing requirements to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and help keep communities safe.

Mayor Amanda McClaren said the draft budget was a hugely important document for the Strathbogie Shire community. 

“It sets our fees and charges for the next year, along with our capital works program and the money we will spend on community services and resources to deliver these services,” Cr McClaren said.

“This year’s draft budget has been prepared with coronavirus (COVID-19) challenges, along with recent storms, drought and bushfires at the forefront. 

“We understand the impact it is having on our community and are doing everything we can to support them.”

This year’s draft budget proposes up to $320,000 in financial support to those affected by coronavirus.

“It’s proposed this funding will be generated by the 1.9 per cent rate increase proposed by council,” she said.

“It means all the funds gathered by this increase will go straight back to our community.”

Cr McClaren urged the community to remember this is the draft budget.

“We recognise there has been community concern over the proposed rate rise and we can’t say strongly enough it now time for you – our community - to have a say,” Cr McClaren said.

“We can make changes if this is what our community tells us and we’re confident it is the best decision for our region.”  

Those who wish to participate must register for a session by emailing or phoning 1800 065 993. 

Details on the online feedback sessions are below.

Hughes Creek Ward: Monday, May 25 from 6-7pm

Lake Nagambie Ward: Tuesday, May 26 from 6-7pm

Seven Creeks Ward: Wednesday, May 27 from 6-7pm

Mt Wombat Ward: Thursday, May 28 from 6-7pm

Honeysuckle Creek Ward: Friday, May 29 from 6-7pm