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Hilltops Council release 2019/20 Budget

Jul 4, 2019

Hilltops Council are pleased to announce their 2019/20 budget, which will deliver many exciting improvements in Boorowa, Harden and Young.

The new budget continues to focus on delivering Stronger Country Community funded projects as well as asset renewal, with water and roads being key priorities. We will use loans to fund new infrastructure which will spread the cost for ratepayers over a period of ten to twenty years. The budget reflects Council’s long-term goal of financial sustainability and the delivery of quality services and infrastructure for the whole region. The budget forms part of Council’s annual Operational Plan which includes fees and charges for the coming financial year.

“The budget puts the community’s aspirations into dollars and is our promise to the community on what we will deliver within the 2019/20 financial year.” Mayor Brian Ingram said.

When assessing the budget, the key points reflected include the following:

  • The proposed consolidated budget operating result for 2019/20 is a surplus of $4.69 million
  • Council will generate revenue of $57.2 million
  • 72% of revenue is collected through rates and charges ($41.3 million)
  • 24% of revenue is obtained via grants and contributions
  • Council will spend approximately $4.5 million of its reserves to complete approximately $28.8 million in capital works
  • Council’s borrowings will equate to $8.6 million

Major community projects for the current financial year include:

  • $326 000 on public cemeteries
  • $184 000 on power upgrades for Harden racecourse
  • $120 000 on Roberts park in Harden
  • $61 000 on books and resources for our libraries
  • $10 000 on playground upgrades at Wombat Reserve
  • $300 000 to explore options and extensions for the Young Cemetery
  • $615 000 to our regional pools and completion of the Young Aquatic Centre upgrade
  • $471 000 on flood mitigation and urban drainage
  • $470 000 on waste management
  • $100 000 on Young Stormwater upgrades
  • $270 000 on improvements to the Hilltops Pound and off leash exercise areas
  • $8 million on regional roads and resheeting
  • $8.4 million on the replacement of Wambanumba, Spring Creek, Cudgells Creek and Haddon’s Bridges
  • Completion of the $10 million Bundarbo Bridge project which commenced in 2018/19
  • Council will raise $6.2 million in borrowings for the Young water and sewer main renewal work and $760 000 to extend the water and sewer main to the Rural Fire Service/Racecourse site in Harden
  • Council will finalise its $300 000 solar power project in late 2019
  • The $1 million Boorowa urbanisation project will now deliver a revised wastewater strategy for South Boorowa including the delivery of an interim sewer solution
  • $300 000 for completion of upgrades to the Boorowa tennis courts
  • $222 000 for the construction of the Boorowa showground horse arena cover
  • $170 000 in business system improvements

Council’s number one infrastructure priority remains the Boorowa Water Security Project. We have provided high level business cases to the State and Federal Governments for a $45 million pipeline project that will secure the long term water needs of the Boorowa community.  We are currently conducting the feasibility study which is expected to be completed in October this year.
Tourism infrastructure highlights include:

  • $300 000 towards upgrades to the Boorowa and Harden Caravan Parks
  • Approximately $1 million to the Lambing Flat Chinese tribute Garden project
  • $1 million to the Murrimboola Creek connectivity project plus $300 000 for the Coddington park upgrade
  • $400 000 to the Tresillian Park upgrade

Regionally, we continue to deliver $50 million of existing core local government services and programs and have maintained staffing levels in all locations.

Council will progress its rating review and Local Environmental Plan consolidation together with a new local Strategic Planning Statement by the end of 2020.

Council continue to deliver $6 million programmed upgrades to parks, gardens, playgrounds and sporting facilities across the region of which works commenced in 2018/19.

Council continue to work closely with School Infrastructure NSW toward a project deed for the joint use library facility.

Council continues its commitment to the Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CRJO) which consists of eleven councils, the ACT Government and Canberra Airport amongst its members and affiliates.