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New initiatives support community aspirations
Date of Issue: 
May 1, 2024

East Gippsland Shire Council has proposed a suite of new initiatives to respond to the documented needs of the community in its Draft Budget 2024-25 which will support the environment, an inclusive community, a thriving economy, and planning and infrastructure improvements.

Chief Executive Officer Fiona Weigall said delivering on the Council Plan and aspirations of the community would be supported by prudent budgeting.

“We are proposing a mix of continuing and new initiatives that invest in the places we all live and work, in our community and the environment,” Ms Weigall said.

“When developing the operating budget, Council examines all key plans and strategies that have been developed with communities and stakeholders and identifies and costs the priority actions from these plans that are able to be delivered.

“We also take a close look at areas where services will need to expand to support new development and maintain new facilities.

“And just like a household budget, we can’t fund everything we’d like to, so we phase our expenditure over many years. For this reason, we also develop a 10-Year Financial Plan, so we have a long-term budget as well as our annual budget.”

Some of the initiatives proposed to be delivered through Council’s 2024-25 Operating Budget (excludes Capital Budget) include:

  • Providing additional resources to maintain public spaces and infrastructure in response to growth.
  • Confirming additional investment in libraries and customer service, including the second mobile library service, to reach more people, more often in their communities.
  • Conducting place plans to capture the needs and priorities of communities at a local level.
  • Developing engagement and collaboration agreements to build sustainable and beneficial relationships with Aboriginal organisations and communities.
  • Developing a Marine and Coastal Management Plan and Open Space Strategy.
  • Initiating and progressing planning scheme amendments, including the Municipal Planning Strategy, Planning Policy Framework, Housing and Settlement Strategy, Rural Land Use Strategy, and Paynesville Growth area.
  • Refreshing the Council grants program focused on community and cultural development, environmental sustainability and places and facilities. Includes a new allocation to incentivise environmental land management and conservation of biodiversity values.
  • Finalising our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan and reinvesting savings from emissions reductions into projects that enhance East Gippsland’s sustainability and resilience.
  • Undertaking a climate risk assessment to identify and plan responses to the likely impact of extreme weather and climate events on Council and community infrastructure and services.
  • Supporting strengthened environmental management of Council-managed land and partnering with other organisations.
  • Introducing specialist environmental planning skills into our team to assist with the assessment of complex development applications and development of clear planning tools.
  • Delivery of the Pathways to Growth program from the Tourism Events Action Plan 2022-26.
  • Supporting Omeo Mountain Bike Trails operations and the Omeo and wider economy by creating a team of maintenance officers.

Your feedback is important

“Our commitment is to work with the community to continue to progress what is important to East Gippslanders and use our budget prudently,” Ms Weigall said.

“We look forward to the community reviewing the budget detail and providing feedback. There may be some things suggested we can incorporate or others may take more work and be considered in our future planning.”

Community feedback will be open from 1 May to 29 May.

Key dates

Tuesday 30 April: Council Meeting – consideration of Draft Budget

1 May: Community feedback opens

29 May: Community feedback closes

Late May/early June: Councillors consider community feedback.

25 June: Council Meeting - adoption of Annual Budget 2024-25

July: Responses to feedback submitters.

The Draft Budget and supporting information and opportunities to provide feedback will be available on Council’s website, YourSay engagement portal and at customer service centres.

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