Frankston City Council has delivered a well-considered budget which will help the community recover from COVID-19 through solid investments in relief and the economy.
The 2020–2021 Annual Budget was unanimously adopted at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on Monday night (1 June).
Frankston City Mayor, Sandra Mayer, thanked residents for their valuable feedback during the consultation process and acknowledged the hardships many were facing.
“The lives of many of our residents have been turned upside-down by the COVID-19 crisis and our budget prioritises projects which will help them overcome its challenges.
“We have worked hard, with our community’s needs at the forefront of our minds, in creating a budget which will provide the best local outcomes in these tough times.”
Cr Mayer said Council had responded quickly to protect the health and wellbeing of the community but understood for many, the recovery process was ongoing.
“We want to provide our residents and businesses with the backing they need to make a full recovery in the long and short-term, that’s why we have endorsed a $6.434 million COVID‐19 Relief and Recovery Package,” Cr Mayer said.
As well as building on the services and supports currently in place, the package identifies further targeted ways Council will ensure individuals, communities and businesses are best positioned to recover over the coming year.
“Council understands it has a responsibility to support its community, and we will carry on identifying ways to empower and help residents remain resilient through this difficult time,” Cr Mayer said.
“One way we are doing this, is by extending our grants programs to give our local businesses the best possible foundation for reopening as social distancing restrictions are lifted.”
Despite the challenging circumstances brought about by COVID-19, Cr Mayer said Council was committed to delivering the best it possibly could for the community.
“Although some projects have been necessarily deferred, they have not been cancelled; we are committed to delivering them as soon as we possibly can.
“We have a $59.94 million Capital Works program planned for the coming financial year. This program will complement the Relief and Recovery Package and will further bolster our local economy through the creation of jobs.”
Further budget highlights include a significant $24.88 million investment into maintenance of existing infrastructure, to safeguard its future use.
“Our precious open spaces, including parks and streetscapes will continue to flourish, with $7.05 million committed to their preservation and enhancement,” Cr Mayer said.
“Centenary Park Tennis Centre will transform, thanks to a $2.80 million funding commitment, and Monterey Reserve Soccer Pavilion will also be upgraded, with an allocation of $1.43 million.”
Cr Mayer said following White Street Mall’s spectacular makeover, Clyde Street Mall would follow trend.
“We have dedicated $1.18 million to its improvement, which includes the relocation of our city’s Hall of Fame.”
“Additionally, Kananook Creek will be enhanced, thanks to $536,000 in funding for the redevelopment of the Arboretum, and the Frankston BMX track will remain a treasure of our city’s youth thanks to a $502,000 redevelopment,” Cr Mayer said.
Local roads will continue to provide smooth travel with $3.34 million allotted to their maintenance, replacement and renewal. A further $1.60 million will be invested in drainage renewal.
The community will also experience improved customer service at Council, with a $461,000 investment into the implementation of an organisation‐wide digital strategy.
“Additionally, Evelyn Park in our city centre will provide a wonderful green space for residents and visitors, following a $650,000 transformation,” the Mayor said, adding that ensuring the unique local environment was preserved for future generations would continue to be a major focus for Council.
“We declared a climate emergency late last year and will keep delivering projects and planning for a future with reduced emissions and a thriving environment in Frankston City.
“This includes the Urban Forest Action Plan which will guide us over the next two decades to transform the urban forest into a highly valued, well-resourced and thriving asset.”
As part of Council’s commitment towards zero emissions, it will also replace street lighting with LED technology this year, at a cost of $1.13 million.
“This is just a taste of what this rounded and considered budget has to offer — and Council looks forward to seeing these and many more projects come to fruition in Frankston City,” Cr Mayer said.
“My fellow Councillors and I will continue to advocate to both state and federal governments for further funding to deliver even more local and regionally beneficial projects.”
The budget will be published on Council’s website in full this week. To view it visit: frankston.vic.gov.au/annualbudget
To learn more about Council’s COVID‐19 Relief and Recovery Package visit: frankston.vic.gov.au/RRP