The Shire of Murray Council at its July 23 meeting adopted its 2015/16 budget with a focus on building for its future sustainability and prosperity.
After Council’s biggest ever infrastructure programme was completed in 2014/15, further projects have been included in the 2015-16 budget that meet the aspirations of the community, identified in the new “Murray 2025 Strategic Community Plan”.
As well as numerous important and needed infrastructure projects, Council has allocated $200,000 to complete a new Town Planning Scheme to replace the significantly out of date 1995 Plan.
Shire President Cr Wally Barrett said that while this plan is a significant cost to Council, now that the Department of Planning has released its Perth and Peel Sub Regional Structure Plan, Council can now move forward in developing a Town Planning Scheme that is more flexible and will meet the needs of a changing and growing community.
Council will also significantly bolster investment in the tourism industry with the Dwelling History and Visitor Information Centre returning to a 7-day a week service.
“Again it was a difficult budget in that the Council again has had a decrease in our Federal Assistance Grants Scheme funding by approximately $130,000 which equates to having to increase rates by 1.2% just to fill this gap”, Cr Barrett said.
“However we have undertaken rates comparisons and Murray is still lower than most other Councils in the Peel and South West regions. Our minimum rate of $990 is one of the lowest in all Councils in both of these regions”.
“In terms of infrastructure, we are continuing to build the infrastructure needed so that we do not fall behind in terms of infrastructure backlog.