Sports, festivals and infrastructure are the big winners in the 2017-18 Brimbank council budget.
Council last week adopted the budget, and a four-year plan which will help guide the future of Brimbank – the culmination of more than 600 local submissions and months of community consultation.
Mayor John Hedditch said the budget and plan would lay the foundations for better services and community programs for Brimbank in the immediate and longer term future.
“We strive to be innovative and responsive – and put community first – the extensive engagement on these important documents shows we are living by this promise,” Cr Hedditch said.
“The budget provides resources to celebrate Brimbank’s highly diverse and richly talented multicultural community and to promote tolerance, inclusion and respect.
“Arts and culture, festivals and events, sport and recreation all play a part in building an inclusive, resilient community, and the budget provides additional resources for this community building to continue.”
A record 36 budget submissions were heard during the four-week community consultation on the draft budget.
The budget includes increased funding for neighbourhood houses, re-introduced a snake catching service and increased maternal and child health services as part of a range of initiatives.
It also funds capital works projects of more than $60 million, including $8.8 million for sports facilities upgrades and enhancements, $23 million in road and footpath improvements, and $6 million in town centre improvements.
Council approved fast-tracking its sports facilities development plan and developing a women’s sport action plan.
Cr Hedditch said the restrictions placed on the council by rate capping and lower grants were significant, but he would continue to set the bar high for what the council wanted to achieve.
“This represents the first year in a 10-year, $500 million program to help Brimbank thrive and transition into a stronger, smarter and more resilient city.
“Our council plan and budget have set expectations high, but we want to be bold and build on our strengths to tackle the key issues we face to realise the vision for Brimbank.
“We need community, government, business and philanthropic sectors working together, to support a growing and fast-changing Brimbank.”