Community Input Re-directs $185,310 in Budget

6 September 2019

After receiving 232 submissions from the community about Mansfield Shire Council’s draft 2019 – 2020 budget, $185,310 has been re-directed in the final budget.

Mansfield Shire Council’s Finance Manager, Mandy Kynnersley said more money was allocated to the High Street West drainage study, Rail Trail signage, maintenance of Jamieson “Island” and communications. Less money was allocated to resourcing.

“We would like to thank all those who took the time to make a submission. This level of interest and the changes that resulted from the input show our community has strong views on the importance of infrastructure, resourcing and communications and Councillors took these on board,” Ms Kynnersley said.

“Council considered all the submissions at a Special Meeting of Council on 28 May. Since then we have responded in writing to all those who provided input. We sent them a summary of key themes, the reason for the decisions made and the financial allocation changes. The themes were also summarised in a report to Council.”

The key themes from the 232 submissions included:
• Infrastructure, including dual court multipurpose indoor sports stadium, stormwater and drainage
• Roads and footpaths including proposed heavy vehicle bypass
• Staffing costs/ resourcing
• Sale of land, specifically the former saleyards site
• Station Precinct Master Plan
• Rating, including the quantum of proposed increase and community communication
• Other: including rail trail signage, governance, parking meters, Jamieson “island”

Ms Kynnersley said the High Street West drainage study received an extra $100,000, the Rail Trail signage allocation increased by $8,700, maintenance of Jamieson “Island” received $6,500 extra and the communications budget increased by $60,000. The budget for executive resources was reduced by $200,000.

“Some people used the budget submission process to ask questions rather than comment on the budget. However, the submissions process is not the forum to ask and answer questions as it is a statutory process and the volume of submissions makes it difficult to facilitate this. The Local Government Act directs that council must advise people of their decisions and the reasons for each decision.

Ms Kynnersley invited anyone with outstanding questions about the budget, or any other council matter, to raise them at any time with councillors or staff.