Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : March 28, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 10 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2017
BUDGET, budget, budget! As you look at the
council’s proposed 2017/18 Annual Budget it’s
easy to focus on the large numbers.
However, I can assure you that the smaller items
that help make up Council’s Capital Works Pro-
gram are equally as important.
Guardrails, roads and bridges make up a signifi-
cant portion of the council’s allocation.
These may not be the high profile items, but our
shire’s economy relies on a strong road network.
Scheduled maintenance of our assets enables
our producers to shift quality produce to markets,
as well as carry our ever increasing number of
tourists to what we consider to be the most scenic
parts of Australia.
Council maintains 1818km of rural roads, 614km
sealed and 1204km unsealed roads, 159 bridges,
158 major culverts and 9100 minor culverts.
According to the data available from the coun-
cil’s Asset Management System, 80 per cent of the
$11 million scheduled for road maintenance in the
2017/18 proposed budget will occur on rural roads.
Only when we strategically invest in our infra-
structure can we ensure the prosperity of our shire.
Council will now receive $27 million less in rates
and charges revenue over a 14 year period follow-
ing the State Government’s cap on rates.
But we are adjusting, and adjusting well. We
have no choice. Cutting further would be unwise
though, as eroding the rate base now would in-
crease the burden on future generations, as the
cost to maintain assets increases as they age.
Council is actually on track to be debt-free in a
few years due to some wise and practical financial
Having money reserves in the bank is not coun-
cil ‘squirrelling ratepayers’ money away’ as has
been bandied about. It is no different to a house-
hold having savings in case of an emergency.
No prudent money manager would authorise a
loan without first knowing its purpose.
Sections 2 and 3 of the Proposed Annual Budget
set out the strategic initiatives the council aims to
implement in 2017/18 and you have until April 26
to provide your input.
Council is in a strong position and is able to
fund its substantial Capital Works Program with-
Some of these projects include;
- Bair Street, Leongatha – This project involves
upgrading Bair Street in accordance with the Mas-
terplan adopted by Council in August 2016. The
project budget is $4.5 million but dependent on
securing $3 million of grant funding.
- Hudsons Road, Leongatha South – This busy
section of unsealed road will be reconstructed and
sealed. The budget for this project is $1.3 million,
which includes the upgrade of a number of water
Bena-Kongwak Road, Bena – This project in-
volves the construction of a new two-lane bridge
to replace the existing narrow old bridge over
the rail line near Bena. The project also involves
the realignment of the road approaches to the
new bridge in lieu of the current very poor align-
ment. This $2.1 million project is dependent on
a successful grant application under the Federal
Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and a
$500,000 contribution from VicTrack.
- Powneys Road, Tarwin Lower – This project in-
volves the replacement of this single access one lane
bridge to large dairy and beef cattle farms which is
in very poor condition. This $380,000 project is de-
pendent on a successful application under the State
Government’s Local Roads to Market Program.
Hassett Street, Leongatha – A new footpath
will be constructed along the east side of Hassett
Street between Ogilvy Street and Turner Street. It
will provide access to Hassett Street kindergarten,
residential areas and McIndoe Park at a cost of
- Couper Street, Mirboo North – A new footpath
will be constructed on the north side of Couper
Street from Baths Road to Ogilvie Street. The cost
of this project is $100,000. This project is one of the
elements of the Mirboo North Community Capital
Works Allocation along with works in Baromi Park.
• Recycled Water Project, Foster – This project
involves the construction of a recycled water pipe-
line from the Foster Sewage Treatment Plant to the
Foster Showgrounds. It will be delivered by South
Gippsland Water with assistance from council.
This project absorbs all of the $400,000 allocated
under this program for Foster.
• Venus Bay Skate Park – Early in the new finan-
cial year, Council officers will work with the Venus
Bay community to develop a concept plan.
• Korumburra Recreation Reserve and Recre-
ation Centre – Meetings have been held with both
committees to further develop plans.
Remember, these are just a snapshot of what is
planned. I encourage you to read the 2017/18 Pro-
posed Annual Budget – there is sure to be some-
thing in there that is relevant to you.
Cr Ray Argento
THE bus interchange at Leongatha is set for an upgrade
and more bus shelters will be installed at Anderson and Won-
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said seating
and line marking at the Koo Wee Rup and Leongatha bus
interchanges will be improved and a new, self-cleaning toilet
will be installed at Leongatha bus interchange.
The upgrades are part of the State Government’s $22.5
million Road and Rail Minor Works Program, funded in last
year’s Victorian State Budget. It is the product of extensive
consultation with local communities during the development
of the Regional Network Development Plan, and will improve
public transport for thousands of people across Victoria.
“Last year we listened to locals and now this program will
deliver the day-to-day upgrades that make a real difference
for people across Gippsland - better connecting them to
work, education and each other,” Ms Shing said.
Contracts are expected to be awarded by the end of April.
Construction is expected to commence in late-2017, and
to be completed by the end of 2018.
THE South Gippsland Shire Council will
soon welcome Faith Page as its new director
of Corporate and Community Services.
Ms Page has experience working with large
organisations in a range of industries, par-
ticularly financial services, technology op-
eration and governance, risk and regulatory
Most recently she was a partner at Ernst
The council’s CEO Tim Tamlin said that
he was excited about having Ms Page join his
“It is terrific that Faith will bring her con-
siderable skills to South Gippsland Shire
“Her experience in the corporate sector
will be invaluable, particularly given the in-
creased emphasis on IT, governance and
risk management in the local government
Mr Tamlin also thanked outgoing director,
Jan Martin, for her contribution to public
life both here and in her native New Zealand.
“When Jan left the organisation late last
year it was under the cloud of a considerable
health issue. In those circumstances where
we were primarily concerned with Jan’s well-
being it didn’t necessarily seem appropriate
to focus on her work.
“Jan joined South Gippsland Shire Council
in 2010. Over the six years that she worked
for the council Jan exhibited a remarkable
capacity to get the best out of her colleagues.
“She led by example, working diligently to
understand all the areas of her considerable
portfolio of responsibilities.
“Jan’s greatest contribution wasn’t the sum
of her work though: it was her empathy, un-
derstanding and inherent ability to see all
perspectives on any given issue that made
her an invaluable member of my executive.
“While I speak for all my colleagues when
I say that Jan is missed, we are all glad now
that her medical issues are almost dealt
Ms Page will take up her new position on
Tuesday after Easter.
Links Archive March 21, 2017 Edition April 4, 2017 Edition Navigation Previous Page Next Page