Corangamite Shire will push for the state government to pick up the tab for school bus shelters

RELATED: Corangamite Shire passes budget amid concerns raised over funding for Cobden Spring Festival

RELATED: Corangamite cuts debt in draft 2017-18 budget

CORANGAMITE Shire is calling on the Department of Education and Training to maintain bus shelters within the shire in an effort to meet some of the short fall from the state government’s rate capping.

BUDGET CHOICES: Corangamite Shire will ask the state government to fund the maintenance of bus shelters throughout the municipality. Picture: Amy Paton

BUDGET CHOICES: Corangamite Shire will ask the state government to fund the maintenance of bus shelters throughout the municipality. Picture: Amy Paton

As part of the council’s 2017-18 budget, the council will no longer fund any new shelters and the associated maintenance of the shire’s 86 bus shelters. The council had previously allocated $10,000 to the bus shelters.

Mayor Jo Beard said the decision was similar to ones made previously with the council trying to step back from servicing which should be funded by the state government.

“Ultimately it’s not our responsibility,” she said.

“We understand how important they are, particularly for country students.”

In moving the budget on Tuesday night, councillor Ruth Gstrein said the $45.7 million budget was financially prudent and sustainable.

Councillors voted 5-2 to approve the budget with cr Gstrein moving an amended motion to ensure the Cobden Spring Festival received the additional support on top of the allocated $2000.

Councillors Bev McArthur and Neil Trotter said they could not support the amendment and were disappointed it had been put forward so late in the budget process.

Cr Gstrein said the budget would see an unprecedented amount spent on capital works with $15 million allocated.

Councillor Helen Durant said the council had focused on the message from the community with a big emphasis on roads.

She said the council would now be debt free which was something they should be extremely proud of.

Cr Durant said the budget reflected the prudent financial management from council officers and also previous councils.

Councillor Simon Illingworth said the budget demonstrated councillors had listened to ratepayers with a huge focus on roads.

“It’s a conservative budget and that is exactly what the people of Corangamite are asking for,” he said.

Cr Beard said the budget process always had it ups and downs but the council had done its best to deliver a diverse range of services.

She said the council’s strong financial position and the amount of money being dedicated to local roads was largely due to the work of previous councils.