Changes to bin collection routes are now in place. All residents impacted by the changes have received a letter outlining new collection days.
Published on 08 November 2023
As the outgoing Mayor, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Councillors and the community for their support during my 12 months in the role. It has been a very busy 12 months, and whilst it was a difficult decision not to recontest the Mayoral election, I will continue to enjoy flexible work arrangements when returning to fulltime employment that will allow me to continue to serve the community as a Councillor in 2024.
A Councilor’s role is exciting, diverse and rewarding. Councillors play a leadership role in working with the community to create and implement the community vision and strategic plan for Moorabool residents. Council does always aim to achieve the best outcomes for the local community while having regard for the long term and cumulative effects of those decisions we make.
A report on Council’s performance over the previous 12 months is included in the 2022/23 Annual Report, but I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the performances over the past 5 years.
The current population of Moorabool is approximately 36,000 and this is expected to reach 65,000 by 2041, whilst the current population of greater Bacchus Marsh of 26,790 is expected to exceed 46,000 by 2041. Our population is also increasingly diverse, with 20% of our population born overseas. Our growing population emphasises the need for support from the state and federal governments, Council and industry to relieve the pressures and to capitalise on the opportunities that comes from such growth.
While Councillors determine policy direction for the community, to optimise community outcomes, a Council needs a good working relationship between Councillors and management. Councillors rely on advice from officers, and I am pleased that a very healthy and respectful relationship exists between Councillors and the CEO, senior management and staff. These strong relationships are imperative for navigating the challenging decisions that face us within the modern local government context and our growing municipality.
Since the appointment of CEO Derek Madden in 2018, and with the support of the previous Council, the Moorabool Shire Council has undertaken an unprecedented capital improvement and capital works program.
Some points of note:
This has occurred across a period of unprecedented inflationary growth of 6-7% pa, and in some cases where increases in construction costs have far exceeded the inflationary figure. With rate capping being set by the State Govt of 3.5% pa, this has challenged Council to ensure that we are maximising the benefits for our expenditure.
Some of the highlights of the increased investment in capital improvements since 2018 include:
Further construction works to commence in 2024 include the Dunnstown Pavilion refurbishment and the Navigators Hall upgrade.
All of this has been achieved whilst navigating through the Covid-19 crisis from 2020 to 2022, and supporting those sections of the community impacted by two extreme weather events in 2021 and 2022, and overseeing the community recovery.
From a financial perspective, it is pleasing to note that in achieving the above, Council remains in a healthy financial position, with Council’s debt significantly lower than in 2018, and cash reserves higher. From a staffing perspective, staff costs have reduced as a percentage of overall revenue from 2018 to 2023.
A shortlist of priorities for Council moving forward includes:
Cr Rod Ward, outgoing Mayor Moorabool Shire Council