Moyne Shire's caravan parks have remained a steady source of revenue for the council over the past financial year, bringing in nearly $4 million in revenue despite COVID-19 throwing a curve ball for local tourism.
The council's recently adopted budget papers show caravan parks are on track to rake in $3.992 million for the current financial year, an all-time record, up from $3.73 million in 2020-21.
The Port Fairy caravan parks were the most expensive, with powered sites setting users back $60 per day at Southcombe and Port Fairy Gardens during peak season. Those prices will rise to $65 per day in the coming financial year while off-peak charges stay the same.
The shire's other caravan parks in Mortlake, Koroit, Yambuk and Killarney all cost $35 per day for a powered site in peak season, although prices are rising more than 30 per cent in 2022-23, up to $46 per day. Off peak prices are staying the same.
The Port Fairy caravan parks have long had a five per cent levy on booking fees which allows the council to subsidise the local Belfast Aquatics pool. When the arrangement was first established, caravan park users were given free access to the pool, however that was scrapped in 2018 when the pool found it could no longer afford handing out free passes.
Caravan parks bring in nearly half the council's $9.5m in annual "user fees" with Mount Shadwell quarry bringing in another $2m, childcare and preschool fees raising $1.4m, and aged care and disability service fees netting another $500,000.
The largest share of council revenue comes from rates and charges with nearly $25m raised over the past financial year.
Victoria's Fair Go Rates System has capped the rate rise for 2022-23 to just 1.75 per cent, although Cr James Purcell said council should have scrapped the rate rise altogether, arguing many ratepayers were still struggling financially.
Rate rises are nominally tied to increases in property values but in practice they have stayed well below property market rises. The value of land in Moyne Shire grew by an astonishing 22.7 per cent in the past financial year, led by residential prices, which rose more than 27 per cent.
Meanwhile wind farms and the Mortlake Power Station brought in nearly $2.5m.
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