What’s happening at Council?

Words by Virginia Ruchel

The first meeting of Nillumbik Council for 2023 was held on 28 February, following a Planning and Consultation meeting on 14 February which mainly dealt with the Neighbourhood Character Strategy.

Council meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of the month and are live-streamed on YouTube so you never have to miss one! Check dates and details at nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Council

A key item on the agenda for this first meeting was the draft 2023-2024 budget. It is open for public consultation and written submissions until 30 March 2023. Check it out on Council’s website or at Council offices. 

The draft 2023-2024 Budget flags a 3.50 per cent rates increase, the maximum allowable under the State Government’s Fair Go Rates System, and a 5.78 per cent increase to the waste management standard charge driven by an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requirement to rehabilitate closed landfill sites and increased disposal costs of recycling and general waste. 

Capital works projects worth $21.53 million are planned, with $3.12 million of that funded by external grants. They include: 

• Kangaroo Ground landfill rehabilitation $5.8 million
• Road and carpark renewal $1.74 million
• Diamond creek netball courts roof $1.7 million
• Buildings renewal (including public toilets) $1.54 million
• Road upgrades $1.4 million
• Hurstbridge outdoor netball courts $0.54 million
• Diamond Creek and Panton Hill tennis renewal $0.4 million

New loan borrowings of up to $8 million are proposed, including $5 million for landfill site rehabilitation, $2 million for capital works, and $1 million so Council can respond to Government grant funding opportunities. 

It is good to see Council acknowledging the many threats facing all communities and ecosystems as a result of climate change and continuing to commit to a climate emergency response. Priority actions include the establishment of a climate action hub at Edendale Community and Environment Farm alongside other initiatives such as the adoption of a Biodiversity Strategy to establish and enhance our urban tree canopy and protect wildlife. 

Other meeting agenda items were Local Government Performance Reporting (which shows that Council is performing well), a public notice submission for 1075 Heidelberg-Kinglake Rd, Hurstbridge, and the Review of Meeting Procedure and the Reconciliation Action Plan, both of which are currently open for feedback. 
The Reconciliation Action Plan will outline the shared approach Council will take to progress reconciliation and work alongside all Aboriginal people in Council’s services. Have your say at participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au