Big response to budget big ideas project
With more than 450 people taking part and about 750 projects identified, Mitchell Shire Council’s Your Budget Ideas consultation is now helping to shape the 2019/20 draft budget.
Community members were asked to share their ideas through a simple survey at various pop ups and events as well as online in September and October.
Roads and footpaths featured in the top responses along with projects for community, sporting and recreation facilities for upgrades, pools, rail trails, playgrounds, dog parks and public art.
Car parking, environmental initiatives, public amenity, streetscapes, heritage, public transport, economic development and waste management were also in the top topics by theme.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Rhonda Sanderson said the new approach aimed to get ideas before the draft budget was created so they could be investigated and prioritised for consideration.
“In the past we’ve asked for feedback once the draft budget has been prepared. For the coming budget we wanted to try something a little different and ask the community to get involved before we prepared the draft,” Cr Sanderson said.
“We’ve had a great response with lots of exciting projects, ideas and initiatives coming in from all over the municipality.”
Cr Sanderson said there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes to incorporate suggestions into the draft budget.
“Staff have themed the ideas and are providing more information about each suggestion,” she said.
“Some suggestions can be easily incorporated or were already planned for this year or coming years. Others will require a little more leg work to investigate.
“The ideas will also help inform a review of the Council Plan and other upcoming strategies and projects.”
Cr Sanderson said some items didn’t relate directly to services or infrastructure that Council provides.
“Some suggestions related to projects, ideas and initiatives that Council is not directly responsible for like improved public transport, more health services and major road infrastructure,” she said.
“We will use this community feedback to support our lobbying with the State and Federal Government representatives and departments who do have responsibility for these items.”
Cr Sanderson thanked the community for their help and for taking the time to be involved.
“This has been a great opportunity for the Councillors to check in with the community at the mid-way point of our term,” she said.
“We won’t be able to take action on every project right now, but this information will certainly help us consider priorities for the coming year, the longer term and for our advocacy and lobbying efforts.”
The draft budget will be prepared early next year and will be presented back to the community for input prior to adoption in June.