The City of Whittlesea has released its proposed 2021-22 Budget for feedback until May 5.

The proposed budget includes a $229.5 million investment in services, activities and programs and $76.4 million allocated for a capital works program, with projects to build and upgrade community centres, public facilities, playgrounds, roads, bike paths and footpaths across new and established areas.

Community projects set for an upgrade include a $1.89 million pavilion upgrade at HR Uren Reserve; $2 million to transform Quarry Hills Regional Park into a major open space facility; $3.43 million for the construction of Wollert East Community Activity Centre; a $2.79 million upgrade of McLeans Road Kindergarten; a $900,000 upgrade of Whittlesea Skate Park; $2.11 million for the construction of a Mernda Villages Community Activity Centre; and $900,000 for sports ground and turf renewal at Laurimar Reserve West oval.

A rate increase of 1.5 per cent is also proposed, which is in line with the State Government’s rate cap.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the proposed budget reset council’s priorities after a challenging year for the community, in which COVID-19 had significant impacts on financial, social and mental health.

“We understand it’s been a difficult year for many in our community. This budget is responsible, allowing council to manage costs while ensuring we can continue to invest in our local community,” she said.

“We are also finalising a proposal for how council will allocate the $2 million COVID Community Recovery Fund that was included in the 2020-21 Annual Budget. This fund will be rolled-out in 2021-22 for local projects and activities.”

For the second consecutive year, council will also absorb most of the rising costs associated with waste collection.

Landfill levy costs to council are set to increase by more than 60 percent in 2021/22, but council proposes to increase its waste charge by only 1.5 percent and will absorb the remaining $2.4 million cost to council.

The 2021-22 proposed Budget will be open for community feedback until May 5.

For more information visit www.engage.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/proposed-annual-budget-2021-22.
People can make a submission by email to info@whittlesea.vic.gov.au; by post to Locked Bag 1, Bundoora MDC, 3083; or in person to the council offices at 25 Ferres Blvd, South Morang.