Media Release - Budget 2020/2021
Posted on June 30, 2020
Northern Midlands Council approves proactive budget for 2020/2021
Northern Midlands Council last night adopted a $29 million budget for 2020/2021, which includes a proactive $19.7 million capital works program to revitalise the local economy after it was hit by COVID-19.
Mayor Mary Knowles OAM advised that at its meeting, Council had agreed to hold the General Rate this year in accordance with its previously approved COVID-19 Community Recovery and Care Package, adopted in April.
In addition to the nil general rate increase to all ratepayers, a rate remission of four months will apply for eligible Commercial and Sporting organisations in genuine hardship. Full details of the COVID-19 Community Recovery and Care Package is available on Council’s website.
Mayor Knowles said the impacts of Coronavirus and the necessary measures required of Council—coupled with a suspension of TasWater dividend revenue—means a substantial underlying deficit of $1.6 million is forecast this year.
“Despite this, Council will continue to maintain similar service levels and is committed to allocating funds to renew municipal infrastructure,” she said.
“Additionally, we are pleased a small number of new initiatives has been funded from identified operating savings.”
Council looks forward to receiving an expected $10.7 million in Federal grant funding for capital works projects this year, including:
- Australian Roads to Recovery Grant Program to assist with road and bridge replacement programs ($0.9m);
- Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program to assist with road or community buildings ($0.9m);
- Federal Major Infrastructure funding for improvements to the Perth Childcare Centre and Longford Main Street ($6.6m); and
- State Road funding for improvements associated with the Perth bypass ($2.2m).
This year Council plans to deliver an economy-stimulating capital works budget with items including:
- Evandale Recreation Ground – additional changeroom amenities ($0.9m);
- Cressy Recreation Ground – improved changeroom amenities ($0.8m);
- Longford Sports Centre – improvements and carpark ($0.9m);
- Reconstruction of sections of Barton Road and Macquarie Road at Campbell Town ($0.9m);
- Reconstruction of urban streets ($1.3m);
- Replacement of timber bridges on Storys Creek Road, Hop Valley Road, Verwood Road, and Macquarie Road ($0.7m);
- Ross Town Village Green - development ($0.4m);
- Stormwater improvement projects ($1.0m);
- Footpath program ($0.5m); and
- Upgrade of major plant and equipment ($0.5m).
The Fire Levy to be collected in 2020/2021 will remain at $616,641 (minimum charge per property $41). Council is required to collect this revenue on behalf of the State Government, which is then passed on to Tasmanian Fire Service.
A $488 minimum general rate will apply to commercial, residential, and rural residential properties, and a $299 minimum to all other land use categories.
Kerbside Waste collection charges will increase $2 for a 140lt bin service and $3 for a 240lt bin service.
Mayor Knowles said Council has developed its budget following thorough review and consultation.
“Council has been mindful to balance the demand for services and infrastructure with prevailing economic conditions, which are expected to remain with relatively low levels of new development,” she said.
“In doing so, Council has considered the ability of some to pay their rates due to the financial implications of the pandemic.”
A three-instalment payment system will again be offered in 2020/2021, however ratepayers can also take advantage of a one per cent discount applied to Rates & Charges if paid within 30 days of issue.
Ratepayers are encouraged to obtain a copy of Council’s 2020/2021 Annual Plan, which outlines Special Projects, Capital Works, and other tasks/targets to be achieved over the next 12 months. This is available on Council’s website at www.northernmidlands.tas.gov.au.
For further details please contact Mayor Mary Knowles OAM on 0408 766 625.