|19 May 2017
||File Reference No: 2.3.2/3, 7.11.3|
After more than 20 years of neglect, plans are underway to remediate Millicent’s railway land.
In releasing its draft business plan for public comment, Council has allocated $1.15 million to remediate Millicent’s disused railway land to allow development of the site.
Mayor Peter Gandolfi said remediation of the site will allow the prime location to be developed providing an economic boost to Millicent.
“Council has long recognised a need to develop the railway land,” Mr Gandolfi said. “The development will offer new home buyers the opportunity to build close to the town’s CBD while providing a further economic stimulus to the wider community.”
The purchase of the land from the State Government is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Council will undertake community consultation about the development.
Mayor Peter Gandolfi highlighted that the budget was a prudent and well measured budget, with a strong focus on economic development and infrastructure, whilst keeping the Council in a financially sustainable position.
Following the reintroduction of inflation increases in grant funding and additional road funding for South Australian councils by the Federal Government, the total amount of rate revenue collected by Council will only increase by 0.5 per cent – the lowest increase of all Limestone Coast councils.
“With about $250,000 of Federal Government funding reinstated, Council has been able to keep the rate increase to a minimum – well below CPI and fully fund capital renewal of Council’s infrastructure such as roads,” Mr Gandolfi said.
Included within the budget is an allocation of $6.51 million for capital works including:
Mr Gandolfi said that whilst there is a strong focus on the capital projects this year, there are a number of key economic development projects that are included within the operational budget that are equally as important. This includes $35,000 being allocated to the development of a plan for the Snuggery Food Precinct. The plan will be largely focussed on ensuring that developers and investors alike have access to appropriate infrastructure to facilitate growth in this precinct.
He also added that there are a number of community projects included within the operating budget including:
Mr Gandolfi said Council is proposing a strong, sustainable budget despite State Government cost shifting and massive increases in its charges.
In 2017/18 Council has been advised by the State Government that the Solid Waste Levy (a levy payable on the disposal of waste) will increase by 20 per cent at a cost of $85,000 to Council, with a further 30 per cent increase forecasted in 2018/19.
In addition, Council has been advised that public housing will transfer from Housing SA to a private entity known as Unity Housing. This transfer will result in an additional $96,000 in mandatory rebates being allocated at a cost to all ratepayers. Additionally, it is forecasted that electricity costs will increase by 30 per cent.
Following the refusal of the State Government to provide ongoing pensioner concession information, Council will compensate the most vulnerable by decreasing the minimum rate by $33 to $600. Rates for the average residential property will remain one of the lowest in the entire Limestone Coast.
Council will still provide a discretionary pensioner concession of $150 to those eligible pensioners who have three bin waste collection and $115 to those eligible pensioners with a two bin waste collection.
These concessions will apply to Aged, Veteran and Disability Support pensioners. As a result of the State Government refusing to provide pensioner details to Council, pensioners will need to apply for the waste rebate at a Council office before September 30 for a credit on their rates notice.
Mr Gandolfi urged members of the public to comment on the draft business plan in writing by Friday, 9 June, 2017. Residents and ratepayers also have an opportunity to make verbal submissions to Council at its meeting on Tuesday, 13 June, 2017. All submissions will be considered before Council adopts the 2017/2018 Annual Business Plan and Budget.
Written submissions can be sent to the CEO, Wattle Range Council, PO Box 27, Millicent SA 5280 or emailed to email@example.com. For those residents and ratepayers wishing to make a verbal submission, please advise Council of your intention to do so by contacting Council’s Executive Assistant, Catherine Allen on 08 8733 0900.
Copies of the Draft Plan are available for inspection at Council offices and the Millicent Public Library or can be downloaded at www.wattlerange.sa.gov.au.
For further information please contact:
Telephone: (08) 8733 0900