Almost three-quarters of Brimbank residential property owners will receive a decrease in their rates next financial year.

Brimbank mayor Lucinda Congreve presented the council’s draft budget for 2019-20 at last week’s meeting and said the decreases were a big win for residents.

“The key take-out and message to the ratepayers as part of this budget is that in 2019-20, 72 per cent of residential properties will receive a decrease in their rates, which is a really, really great story for us to be able to tell,” Cr Congreve said.

“The draft budget also proposes a new rates differential for commercial and industrial land – or vacant land – which will be implemented … the new differential is intended to encourage the development of commercial and industrial land, therefore reducing the problems that can be associated with vacant land, such as illegal rubbish dumping.

“The new rates differential will mean that these properties contribute a greater share of the overall rates council collects, but it will not increase the total amount of money council collects in terms of rates. Instead, it will mean that other rateable properties attract a lower portion of rates.”

The council’s operating budget for the year is $285.3 million, with capital works topping the list of expenditures. In total, $85.8 million will be spent on capital works in 2019-20.

Sports facility upgrades will receive
$32 million, roads and footpaths $25.8 million and town centre upgrades $5.4 million.

Playgrounds and parks ($4.9 million), sustainability projects ($1.9 million) and bike and shared paths ($1.7 million) will also receive significant investment.

Cr Congreve said the capital works spend was a substantial increase on last year’s $59.6 million.

“What all this adds up to is that we’re creating a better quality of life for the Brimbank community – better recreation facilities, better streetscapes, more efficient and enjoyable ways to get around the city, all with an eye towards sustainability,” she said.

The draft budget is now available for viewing at brimbank.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay