Council’s Draft 2020-21 Budget forecasts an underlying deficit of $901,000, with a minimum drop in revenue, particularly from tourism, of $698,000 (7.2%).
“While Council’s financial position over the long term is secure, the short-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are significant and unavoidable,” Mr Gill said.
“Revenue losses resulting from the closure of caravan parks are difficult to project, but are expected to reach six figures.
“Additional expenses from Council’s subsidisation of many fees and charges to support our community are necessary stimulus measures, but nonetheless compound the effect on Council’s bottom line,” he said.
A new kerbside organic waste collection initiative and a revamp of parking in South Hesse Street are among few new projects to be undertaken next financial year. A $6.5 million capital works program will instead focus on completing existing projects, including the Queenscliff Cultural Hub and Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve.
Rates will rise by two per cent, in line with the State Government rates cap, however hardship provisions have been increased and a one-off waste rebate will be given to households as part off a $330,000 package to soften the pandemic’s impact on residents and businesses.
The $120,000 Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) waste service will be rolled out in coming months,. Already operating in other municipalities, it allows households to dispose of green waste and organics such as food scraps, coffee grounds, tissues and dog droppings.
A controversial $1.35million project to create 59 new car parking spaces and underground powerlines in South Hesse Street, is also expected to commence in coming weeks.