Moyne blasts federal cuts and budgets for a tough year

MOYNE Shire has passed this year’s budget — but not without a few angry words about the federal government. 

Council passed the latest budget last night, including a 4.9 per cent rate rise. 

Other details include a $14.9 million capital works program, down from $20 million in the last budget; a small surplus of $750,000; and $12 million to be raised through general rates. 

Major works will include $114,000 on construction of a new community meeting place in Peterborough. 

Mayor James Purcell said it was a smooth budget despite council being “slugged thousands” by the freeze of federal financial assistance grants announced in May’s federal budget. 

“The hit we took from the financial assistance grant was $110,000 and over the next three years will be more than $1 million,” Cr Purcell said.

“It’s a big hit. The coming year is going to be a tough one.” 

Cr Jill Parker said the freeze came late, throwing council’s budget planners into turmoil. 

“It would have been very easy in the last few weeks to throw it out because it was too hard,” Cr Parker said. 

“It’s going to cost this council $110,000 in this budget. That’s no meagre amount in anyone’s language. 

“There’s been much soul-searching to make sure we had our priorities as close to what we thought was right as possible.” 

Councillors unanimously passed a motion to write to Wannon MP Dan Tehan and the local government minister voicing their anger at the freeze. 

“I think this an action we should take. Unfortunately it might not deliver the outcomes we’d like to see but it’s something we have to do,” Cr Ralph Leutton said. 

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