Recovery support for the region is a key component of The Barossa Council’s draft 2020-21 Annual Budget and Business Plan, acknowledging the challenges faced by the local community as a result of the global pandemic.
Acutely aware of this financial ‘fall out’ faced by many, particularly alongside ongoing drought conditions, the budget contains a lower than CPI general rate revenue increase of 1.5% coupled with targeted rate remission and payment deferral without fines and interest (by application) for rate-payers directly impacted by COVID-19. This modest increase will ensure Council remains financially sustainable over the 10 year period of the Long Term Financial Plan with the ability to extend further stimulus and relief such as deferred rate payments and additional spending to support community and business programs, if necessary.
Alongside these supportive measures the budget will continue to fund core infrastructure projects and be ready to take advantage of stimulus funds with the vision of future-proofing the region, while streamlining services that contribute to better customer outcomes and modernising how Council do business.
Key features within the budget include:
- $455K COVID-19 Recovery Plan over the next 2 years.
- Provision over four years for agreed high priority projects within The Big Project*
- $4.6M for road resealing and upgraded freight route projects*
- $1.8M footpath program and extension of the Barossa Trail into Gawler*
- $2.8M Angas Park Recreation Park upgrades
- Completion of Nuriootpa Recreation Park multiuse change rooms
*Some projects in this class are subject to successful grant funding.
Council is confident the budget strikes a balance between fulfilling existing levels of services, addressing internal efficiency improvements, continuing delivery of The Big Project priorities and remaining flexible enough to provider further COVID-19 recovery support.
Residents are encouraged to read the Plan, including the annual review of the Long Term Financial Plan, and have their say either online via Council’s new engagement platform at yoursay.barossa.sa.gov.au, or via facebook.com/thebarossacouncil, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to PO Box 867 Nuriootpa SA 5355, by 7 July. The Plan is also available to view in Council library branches and at the front desk of the Nuriootpa office.