At its June Ordinary Meeting, Liverpool Plains Shire Plains (LPSC) adopted its 2017/18 Budget when it adopted the Community Strategic Plan, Operational Plan, Delivery Program, Long Term Financial Plan, Workforce Plan and Work Health and Safety Strategy.
“The final adoption of these documents followed several months of public consultation, development of the package and a 28 day period of public exhibition. Following this process there were no submissions received by Council. I would like to take this opportunity to thank community members and organisations who participated in the consultation process and the Council Management and staff who developed the plan based on community aspirations and requirements of Fit for the Future. There is only a finite budget but we have attempted to make every dollar go as far as possible,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope.
“The result is a balanced budget, with no rate rises apart from those allowed through the rate pegging process, resulting in a $28.5 million operational program for the 2017/18 financial year,” he continued.
“Careful budgeting has allowed us to increase our Community Fund to $50,000. This is in recognition of the vital contribution that our newly constituted Local Advisory Groups (LAG) and organisations play in the development of our social capital and quality of life. Council has a philosophy of partnership and collaboration whereby we provide support to encourage and assist individuals and groups in the community to make a positive and ongoing contribution to its wellbeing, cultural life and resilience,” he said.
“We have also been able to factor in the unfreezing of Financial Assistance Grants (FAG) by the Federal Government meaning more money for our gravel road maintenance program. This budget continues our program to maintain and improve our road network and to address back logs. We have also budgeted to complete the sealing of the Willow Tree - Merriwa Road, within the Shire boundaries, by 2019.
“Money has been provided for the upgrade of facilities at Werris Creek Swimming Pool including adding hot water in the showers and disabled/wheel chair access, completion of the Emergency Services Precinct in Quirindi, the purchase of an inflatable movie screen for use at events around the Shire, particularly for libraries, The REC and swimming facilities plus other Shire attractions,” he sai
“Importantly we’re carrying out a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) Review to investigate zoning specific parcels of land to allow redevelopment and ensuring this vital planning instrument meets community requirements. We will also commence examination of the best way to expand the facilities at Quirindi Library,” he continued.
“Throughout the year we will continue to lobby hard for extra funding towards community amenities such as paths, cycle ways and other infrastructure. Where succesful we will include such projects within the budget. We will also continually monitor opportunities for funds and grants that can enhance our ability to bring projects forward,” he said.
“One of a Councillor's greatest responsibilities is deliberating, approving and regularly monitoring the Shire’s budget that provides the money to implement the community’s visions. Effective financial management will transform our area into a better place to live and work. Members of the community know what services they would like to have in their area and our consultation process endeavours to involve them as much as possible in deciding what should be the spending priorities over coming years.
“If it weren’t for local government, many of the services that we take for granted simply would not be there.It must not be forgotten that a wide range of critical functions, such as planning, waste disposal and infrastructure provision, including roads and footpaths, parks and sporting grounds, sewerage and water, are delivered by local government. LPSC will continue to work closely with its community to deliver the best outcomes into the future. Copies of all the budget papers are available for perusal at the Administration Centre,” Councillor Hope concluded.