The Budget provides funding to do all of Council's work including maintenance of our roads and buildings, delivery of our community services and looking after our much loved parks and sporting pavilions.
The Revenue and Rating Plan underpins the Budget and includes the fees and charges received for our services, Council rates and other income received by Council.
These documents are central for funding the delivery of the services and projects included in our Council Plan.
Budget 2023-27 represents a focused recovery effort from the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an organisation, Council has been slow to recover and will require more time to return to our pre-pandemic operational levels. Nevertheless, we remain committed to ensuring long-term financial sustainability.
Throughout this period, Council is prioritising the needs of the community, striving to maintain essential services, delivery of infrastructure and support economic growth. Council has secured crucial funding support from State and Federal Governments in 2023/24 to address our ageing infrastructure and contribute to the revitalisation of our community.
To respond to the financial challenges, we have made efforts to offset operational expenses through innovation and adapting our systems and processes without impacting the quality of those services.
Council Plan - Year 3
Following community engagement in February and March 2023, the Year 3 Action Plan for our Council Plan was finalised.
The Year 3 Action Plan considers a number of factors including:
- integration with Banyule’s Health and Wellbeing Priorities and Climate Action Response
- strategic planning discussions linked to the annual review of the Budget, Capital Works and Initiatives Programs, and other key plans
- elements from other plans and policies adopted by Council
- resourcing through the Budget
- the impacts of COVID-19 and other unforeseen circumstances
- feedback received from you during community engagement.
For a full record of what we did and what you told us during engagement activities in February and March 2023, check out the findings report.
Our four-year Council Plan was adopted by Council following deliberative engagement with Banyule community members in 2021. To support delivery of the Plan, Council is required to adopt a yearly action plan each year of the four year Plan.
The yearly plans list actions and services to help Council achieve Banyule's Community Vision 2041, and covers everything from delivering community events, strengthening and delivering community services, developing and implementing strategies and supporting the reduction of waste and carbon emissions.
Actions sit under the six priority themes from the Community Vision:
- Our Inclusive and Connected Community
- Our Sustainable Environment
- Our Well-Built City
- Our Valued Community Assets and Facilities
- Our Thriving Local Economy
- Our Trusted and Responsive Leadership
Revenue and Rating Plan
The Revenue and Rating Plan 2023-27 outlines how Banyule Council will generate income to build our Budget and deliver the Council Plan and Community Vision 2041. It considers:
- how we generate income through rates
- service charges applied on services such as waste and recycling
- fees and charges for services and programs
- contributions from developers
- revenue generated from Council assets
- grants from other governments.
Hardship Assistance Policy
The Rates Hardship Assistance Policy gives Council the ability to provide financial relief to ratepayers who are experiencing hardship due to circumstances that impact their ability to pay rates and charges. The policy provides an overview of:
- eligibility for assistance
- the criteria and points system for assessing hardship and providing support
- the difference between a 'waiver' and 'deferral' of rates and charges
- payment plans.
The opportunity to give feedback on the Hardship Policy was provided alongside the Budget, Revenue and Rating Plan and Council Plan due to the impact the Policy has on revenue and the funding of Council services and supports.
Community engagement summary
Community engagement took place from December 2022 to March 2023. During this time, 67 community members gave feedback on:
- the financial principles used to develop our Budget 2023-27
- the draft Capital Works and Initiatives Program
- the actions to be included in our Council Plan Year 3 Action Plan.
In addition, 33 people came to community drop-in sessions in Greensborough and Ivanhoe to talk with us and tell us their thoughts on Banyule's Budget and Council Plan.
16 community members also chose to attend a councillor feedback session on 7 March 2023 to address councillors about their feedback.
Feedback was received from people representing most Banyule suburbs, most age groups and all diversity cohorts (living with disability, LGBTIQA+, First Nations and speaking English as a second or other language). Gender was represented evenly.
For a full summary of what we did to support community feedback and what you told us, check out the findings report.
Or to read the report and feedback recommendations presented to Council at their meeting on 17 April 2023, go to Council's website. Feedback recommendations were presented at Item 4.4.