The Mirror News

Shire canvasses community on draft budget, financial plan

South Gippsland Shire Council is now canvassing for the community’s views, up until Friday May 12, 2023, on its newly released draft annual budget and ten-year financial plan.

Residents and ratepayers are invited to read and to comment on the 100-page Proposed Budget 2023/24 and the 41-page Proposed Financial Plan 2023/24 – 2032/33 after their formal endorsement at the April 19, 2023, open council meeting.

The two documents, together with a four-page overview, a survey, and a written submission upload link may be found online via the Shire’s community engagement portal at

Hard copies of the draft budget and financial plan are also available from the Shire’s reception at the municipal offices in Michael Place, Leongatha, which is currently open from Monday to Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm.

South Gippsland Shire will also be hosting a Facebook question and answer session on Wednesday May 3, 2023, between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm, for anyone wanting to learn more about the Proposed Annual Budget and the Long-Term Financial Plan.

A Shire spokesperson said, “councillors will be on the other end to answer in real time, so please take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.”

South Gippsland Shire Mayor, Cr Nathan Hersey, said, “the Proposed Budget and Financial Plan for 2023/24 have been developed as a sequel to the 2022/23 Budget.

“Last year’s Budget focused on prioritising the aspirations of our community as developed through the extensive ‘Shaping South Gippsland’ community engagement program and encapsulated in the Community Vision 2040 and Council Plan,” he said.

“This Proposed Budget is focused on funding delivery of the actions identified by our community and progressing the outcomes of this important planning work.

“I would like to encourage our local community to review these documents and to have their say on our financial future.”

The community’s feedback will be analysed and incorporated into the final proposed budget and financial plan, which are to be considered for adoption at the open council meeting to be held at Leongatha on Wednesday June 28, 2023, at 2 pm.

“Sustainable, responsible road map”

According to a Shire statement, “the documents present a financially sustainable and responsible road map for South Gippsland for next year and for future years.

“They consider the opportunities available for our local community, along with challenges such as the global economic climate, interest rate rises, escalating costs in the building industry, and the cost of living,” the statement continues.

“The proposed 2023/24 Annual Budget carefully balances the needs of our local community with the delivery of services, investment in capital works and key initiatives.”

The statement goes on to advise that “the proposed Annual Budget closely aligns with the objectives listed in the 2022-26 Council Plan.”

Prospective funding allocations in the coming financial year include:

  • $400,000 towards investing in South Gippsland Shire’s annual re-sheet program, designing priority road sealing, and protecting the condition of the municipality’s roads through roadside vegetation and weed management.
  • $155,000 towards planning initiatives to support sustainable growth, including implementing actions from the Coastal Strategy, the South Gippsland Planning Scheme review and progressing planning controls in Nyora.
  • $50,000 to improve sustainable management of the environment through developing a Climate Action Plan.
  • Further investment of $60,000 in improving council’s cybersecurity to protect the South Gippsland community’s data and information.
  • Community strengthening through the development of Community Plans across South Gippsland’s unique communities, and ongoing funding support for the Live4Life program.

$36.8M capital works program

Among the projects mooted as part of the Shire’s proposed $36.832 million capital works program for 2023/24 are:

  • Revitalised streetscapes for Korumburra and Venus Bay.
  • Refurbishing the old rail precincts in Leongatha and Korumburra into new community areas.
  • Construction and sealing of Simons Lane at Leongatha.
  • Rehabilitating and resealing sections of already sealed roads.

2023/24 Budget based on $81M income, revenue

The Shire’s proposed 2023/24 budget is based on a projected total income and revenue of $80.738 million, of which $50.515 million or 63 per cent will be derived from rates and charges.

Further sources of income include statutory fees and fines; user fees; operating and capital grants; monetary and non-monetary contributions; disposal of property, infrastructure, and plant and equipment, with $1.875 million categorised as “other”.

The comprehensive income statement in the proposed 2023/24 budget and overview indicates that the Shire received a total of $78.93 million in 2022/23.

The statement also features projected incomes and expenses for the 2024/25, 2025/26, and 2026/27 financial years.

Estimated expenses for 2023/24 come to $72.049 million, which includes $29,634 million going to employee costs; $26.788 million for materials and services; $211 million for borrowing costs; $5 million on finance costs for leases, and $3.271 million to be spent on “other expenses”.

The 2023/24 draft budget’s bottom line is in the black, and shows a surplus for the year, also described as a “total comprehensive result”, of $8.689 million, leaving the council with net assets or net worth valued at $609.302 million during 2023/24.

This surplus represents an increase of $1.572 million from the 2022/23 forecasted result. 

The projected total incomes and expenses for 2024/25 through to 2026/27 are similar to those of 2023/24, as are the final surpluses, however, the amount of capital grants received is expected to go down year-on-year, while income from municipal rates and charges will increase.

Borrowing costs are expected to rise dramatically, up to $349 million in 2026/27, though leasing finance costs are tipped to steadily reduce.

The Shire’s overview says that “this Budget has been prepared for the four-year period ending June 30, 2027.

“The Budget is in turn set within a longer-term financial framework [and that] the key objective of the Financial Plan is financial sustainability in the medium- and long-term,” the overview reads.

“The adjusted underlying result [of $2.205 million] which is a measure of financial sustainability, shows a surplus over the term of the Budget.”

The budget defines “adjusted underlying result” as “the net surplus or deficit for the year adjusted for non-recurrent capital grants, non-monetary contributions and capital contributions from other sources.”

State Rate Cap now 3.5 per cent

The Victorian Government’s State-wide municipal 2023/24 rate cap has risen to 3.5 per cent, up from 1.75 per cent in 2022/23.

The shire’s overview notes that the 2023/24 “rate cap is below the current rate of increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) [which] will continue to provide challenges, particularly where the inflated costs of construction, materials, goods and labour will impact Council service delivery and capital works costs.”

The 3.5 per cent rate cap is applied to the total rates that all Victorian municipalities can raise and not to individual properties.

A property owner’s rate bill may vary by more or less than the rate cap due to the relative property valuation, the type of property it is and relevant charges and levies.

SGSC 2023/24 Rates

South Gippsland Shire Council uses a differential rating system, which includes seven different types or classes of land, with each assessment based on the current Capital Improved Value (CIV) of each property.

Every property’s total rate bill is calculated using the formula of every dollar of CIV multiplied by the applicable rate, plus various municipal charges, including a fire services levy (though not on State or Federal Government-owned properties), and, for most but not all ratepayers, a waste or garbage charge.

South Gippsland Shire Council’s rates for 2023/24 are as follows, listed as the type or class of land, followed by the rates in $/CIV, and each rate’s percentage of the General/Residential rate.

  • General / Residential: 0.00283928; 100 per cent.
  • Industrial: 0.00298125; 105 per cent
  • Commercial: 0.00298125; 105 per cent.
  • Farm: 0.00198750; 70 per cent.
  • Vacant Rural: 0.00198750; 70 per cent.
  • Vacant Other: 0.00567857; 200 per cent.
  • Cultural and Recreational: 0.00141964; 50 per cent.

Shire total land value up by 20.44 per cent

The total value of land throughout the South Gippsland Shire has gone up by 20.44 per cent as at January 1, 2023, in comparison to the State Government’s 2022 valuation.

All land in the Shire is now worth $17,383,753 million, up by $2,950,428 million from 2022’s total value of $14,433,325 million.

The Shire’s 2023/24 rates are based on the official 2023 valuation, as determined by Valuer-General Victoria.

All types or classes of land in South Gippsland have risen in value, especially agricultural land with a 30.38 per cent average hike, while industrial land attracted only a 4.96 per cent lift.

Shire land values 2022/23 to 2023/24

Here is a list of South Gippsland Shire land values by type or class, followed by their respective 2022/23 and 2023/24 valuations, then their monetary and percentage changes.

  • General / Residential: $8,500,384 million; $9,874,013 million; $1,373,629 million; 16.16 per cent.
  • Industrial: $305,331 million; $320,462 million; $15,131 million; 4.96 per cent.
  • Commercial: $374,666 million; $422,043 million; $47,377 million; 12.65 per cent.
  • Farm: $4,845,977 million; $6,318,048 million; $1,472,071 million; 30.38 per cent.
  • Vacant Rural: $51,298 million; $57,727 million; $6,429 million; 12.53 per cent
  • Vacant Other: $345,410 million; $379,955 million; $34,545 million; 10 per cent.
  • Cultural and Recreational: $10,259 million; $11,505 million; $1,246 million; 12.15 per cent.

To find out more about South Gippsland Shire Council’s proposed 2023/34 Budget and 10-year Financial Plan to 2032/33 documents, or to provide feedback, see:


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