The agenda for Tuesday night features the 2019/20 Budget and Strategic Resource Plan. The latter encompasses a ten year timeline.

Whilst most budgets are admittedly subject to change and at best are often educated ‘guesstimates’ the changes in council’s plans from 2018/19 to the 2019/20 financial year are quite staggering. Please note the following:

  • Further delays in the implementation of major strategic planning projects
  • The huge blowout of costs on some of these. Even where the costs have been cited as a reduction, given that they are delayed we wonder how accurate these projections are since prices are sure to rise with delays and not reduce!
  • With $11.8 million still owing by the end of the next financial year, council is gearing up to borrow another $30 million!
  • Costs for rubbish, child care have gone up marginally, ie about $3 to $5 per item/day.
  • Council’s subsidy for pensioner rebates continues to decline. In 2016/17 council provided $58; in 2017/18 it went down to $48; in 2018/19 it was $42 and now for 2019/20 it is at an all time low of $36!
  • Council’s projected rate revenue is again based on 800 to 1000 new rateable properties. This is a repeat of last year’s budget and raises the question again of why we need 12 storeys and massive overdevelopment when council’s own documentation states that in order to meet forecast housing demand 800 dwellings per annum will suffice.

For ease of comparison, we present below a table that outlines the stated expenditure for the Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick structure plans. Of concern is:

  • The massive increase in cost for some of the items
  • The massive delay for implementation of car parks (ie 3 years for Horsely)
  • Why Bentleigh appears to be favoured overall in time lines when compared to Carnegie and even Elsternwick

There are also changes to Council’s ‘commitments’ in the Community/Council Plan that should be noted. We now have new jargon such as ‘Hidden Gems’ to replace the Major Heritage Review. Again this is put back years as has the promised ‘safe pedestrian pilot’. Other changes also exist and we urge residents to peruse these items carefully.

What remains a constant in Glen Eira is increasing staff. We will now have 860.19 Equivalent Full Time (EFT) an increase of close to 40 EFT. Also worth asking is why we could not find any mention of the projected sale of our aged care facilities and what this means to the budget, loans, etc?