Council wants community’s help to build budget
September 26, 2017
Colac Otway Shire Council is re-engineering its budget process to give the community a better opportunity to have a say on how money is spent.
The new approach will start with a ‘budget bid’ process, where community members can make suggestions on new projects, ongoing maintenance or upgrades to existing assets.
Acting Mayor Stephen Hart said Council typically called for community comment in April, when the draft budget had been released.
“By asking for comments and suggestions in October, at the very start of our budget preparation, we can get a clearer idea of what the community wants very early in the process,” Cr Hart said.
“All of the suggestions received will go into our budget bid process, where priorities are assessed and ranked to determine what projects and programs are undertaken in the next financial year.”
The community can get involved in the ‘budget bid’ process in person by attending sessions outside the Apollo Bay Bakery on Tuesday 3 October from midday to 2pm; or at Council’s Colac CBD Revitalisation Project office at 139 Murray Street on Friday 6 October from midday to 2pm.
Alternatively, people can submit their ideas via a short online survey which can be accessed here www.surveymonkey.com/r/ColacOtwaybudget
Cr Hart encouraged people to get involved in this new approach.
“The Council is a community services provider, and by engaging with the community as a preliminary to preparing the budget we can be confident our day to day service delivery and capital program is responding proactively to the community’s highest priorities,” Cr Hart said.
“We’re trying something different because the community has told us that they want more say over our budget and priorities,” he said.
“This is your opportunity to make suggestions right at the start of the budget process.”