A Yarra Ranges budget for communities

Cr Jim Childs (Mayor of Yarra Rangers Council) 334058_11

Our budget every year is created on behalf of, with the assistance of and for our communities in over 55 towns.

It’s one of our most important documents, and so community feedback is critical when we put it together.

We heard, in person and online, that people wanted a stronger focus on infrastructure such as roads, footpaths and drainage, to look after existing assets alongside building new ones and prioritise the protection of our environment.

I’m happy to say that this feedback has directly shaped our draft budget, now available for viewing.

We’ll be spending $23 million on road, footpath and bike path maintenance and construction, $14m on maintaining and redeveloping sports fields, playspaces, parks and reserves, and $11m on programs to protect and enhance our natural environment, all substantial increases on the last financial year.

This significant level of investment will deliver initiatives and programs that directly respond to community feedback.

Our Capital Works Program looks different this year too.

We want to balance how we invest in new infrastructure while maintaining and improving the assets we have.

Our primary focus this year is on maintaining, repairing and improving our footpaths, roads and trails, helping you get to where you need to go.

We’ll have some exciting projects coming up over the year, including new lighting and a youth space in Belgrave South, playspace works and Upwey, Badger Creek and Mount Evelyn, among other areas, stormwater harvesting at Monbulk Reserve to use water smarter, along with new Community Sports Pavilions in Powelltown and Pinks Reserve. Our Warburton Mountain Bike Destination and Yarra Valley Trail will move along this coming year, with significant investment, and we’ll be building a new urban park in Chirnside Park.

We’re doing all of this while continuing to deliver more than 120 services – everything from libraries to pools, immunisations to planning permits, health inspections to footpath works – in one of the largest and most diverse local government areas in Victoria.

We’re extremely mindful of balancing two very delicate situations – the community facing some of the greatest cost of living pressures in more than a decade, and the same pressures impacting the costs of our service delivery.

I think our draft budget strikes this balance well.

I encourage everyone to read this year’s budget, and to sign up at shaping.yarraranges.vic.gov.au so you can be notified of projects and engagements near you.