The City of Tea Tree Gully's Annual Business Plan forms part of our City's strategic management plans. The draft plan for 2011-2012 is the first to underpin our new Strategic Plan 2011-2015, which outlines the vision for our community over the next 30 years.
Each year we ask for the community's feedback on the Draft Annual Business Plan. The draft plan provides details on how we're planning to maintain or enhance our existing services over the next 12 months and ensures that we deliver on our commitment to provide a well-managed, sustainable and innovative City, while limiting the potential financial impact this may have on our community.
Significant factors that influenced the Draft Business Plan 2011-2012 included:
In 2011-2012 we projected a total expenditure of $70.1 million. In order to balance our operating budget, Council rates were proposed to rise by 6.3%.
The community was invited to provide written submissions on the draft plan from 23 April until 16 May 2011.
As well as a public notice published in The Advertiser, a full page advertisement regarding the draft plan was also published in the Leader Messenger on 4 May. This provided an overview of the programs and projects proposed in 2011-2012 and the reasons for the proposed 6.3% rate increase, as well as how the community could provide feedback and ask questions. The options included:
Copies of the Draft Business Plan were available from Council's website as well as the Civic Centre and Library.
Six (6) written submission were received during the period 23 April to 16 May 2011. Ten (10) members of the community attended the public meeting and questions, along with verbal submissions, were received. A further seven (7) submissions were received after 16 May, including two submissions received at the public meeting.
All of the feedback received was collated and provided to Council for their consideration at a meeting held 31 May 2011, together with the recommended responses, which were prepared by Council staff in consultation with the relevant Manager and/or Director. This document can be viewed below:
Alternatively, the original copies of the written submissions received can be viewed here:
Please note: In order to protect privacy, all personal contact details have been removed from the submissions.
Comments relating to the 6.3% rate increase were noted and before adopting the Annual Business Plan 2011-2012, Council investigated a number of other options for rates. In doing so we needed to take into account the $85 million in capital works programs that have been undertaken over the last three years. While this included $14.6 million in grant funding, the remaining balance needed to be funded through a mix of cash reserves and loans, contributing to Council's finance charges increasing by $1.3 million and depreciation by $462,000.
We also needed to include a $1.1 million increase in salaries and wages for our staff that flows from the current enterprise bargaining agreements. These factors alone have contributed to an increase of $2.9 million which equates to a rate rise of 5.3 percent. The remaining one percent rate increase is made up of increases in the cost of materials, contract and other expenses such as fuel, electricity and insurance.
We are committed to strengthening our long-term financial position and managing debt whilst still maintaining our current service levels. Therefore, the average rate increase of 6.3 percent (approximately $1.56 a week) was considered necessary in order for us to achieve long-term financial sustainability.
On 14 June, after considering all the feedback received through the community engagement process, Council moved that staff prepare a final version of the plan, based on a 6.3% rate increase.
Council formally adopted the Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2011-2012 on 28 June 2011.
For more information email us or call us on 8397 7444.