Budget unveiled

WELLINGTON Shire will today unveil a draft budget with a rise of more than five per cent in rates and charges.

The biggest project included in the proposed 2012-13 budget is construction of the Yarram District Hub, with $3.18 million allocated for a facility which has been designed to house the council service centre, library, Centrelink, childcare and healthcare.

The budget also includes spending $120,000 on revamping the council website, to improve access to council information.

The proposed budget includes a 5.1 per cent increase in income from all rates and charges.

The increasing cost of compliance with Environmental Protection Authority requirements in the provision of landfills and transfer stations has led to council maintaining the waste infrastructure charge at $32 to enable council to fund future capital works, while the garbage charge and EPA levy charge will both remain unchanged at $164 and $14.92 respectively.

The proposed increase in rates and charges takes into account the current economic climate, including the carbon tax’s projected impact on the cost of energy and general costs, and its impact on ratepayers, while looking at the need to provide an acceptable level of service.

At its meeting today from 1pm, council will vote to advertise the draft budget for public submissions before the budget is formally adopted in June.

The total value of capital works in the budget is $24.3 million, $1.2 million lower than the forecast total for this financial year.

Aside from the Yarram hub, funding will be made available to rehabilitate Glenmaggie Bridge ($1.6 million), upgrade the Rosedale pool ($835,000), complete drainage works in Commercial Rd, Yarram ($600,000) and works at Main St, Newry ($200,000).

Works to be carried forward from this financial year include the Sale Mall redevelopment ($250,000), works at the Heyfield pool ($445,000) and drainage in Marley St, Sale.($550,000).