THE headline numbers from this year’s draft South Gippsland Shire Council budget include $31.5 million expenditure on capital works from $68.451 million total expenditure of which $28.5 million is employee costs.

It’s all part of the proposed 2022-23 budget to be tabled at today’s council meeting before going out to the community for comment.

According to the shire, “the drafting of this Budget and Financial Plan has taken place in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and economic change with the ongoing effects of not only a global pandemic, but also increasing inflationary pressures and the as yet unknown full impacts of the war in the Ukraine”.

The $31.467 million capital works program is funded by $9.77 million in grants and contributions, $4 million in borrowings and $17.7 million in council cash. The capital budget also includes $8.174 million of carry forward projects from 2021/22.

Key dates for the budget process: April 22, 2022 budget submitted for in principle endorsement, April 21 to May 15 budget available for community feedback, June 29, 2022 budget submitted to council for adoption.

Key points:

• Total expenses $68.451m (down from $72.852m).

• Total from rates up from $41.6 million (2021-22) to $42.6 million (2022-23).

• Total number of assessments up from 20,147 this year to 20,269 next year.

• Total capital works expenditure goes down from $38 million this year to $31.5 million in the year ahead.

• Total employee costs are expected to come down from $30.3 million this financial year to $28.5m in 2022-23.

Among the projects to be funded this coming year include:

• Community Hub Korumburra $1.741 million.

• Aquatic/Recreational Leisure Renewal Program (Non-Building) $754,000.

• Bass Highway/Simons Lane Leongatha $1.75 million.

• Leongatha & Korumburra Railway Station Precincts $4.7m (Grant $3m, council $1.7m).

• Korumburra Commercial Streetscape $2.204 million ($1.5m borrowed, $704.000 council).

• Foster Showgrounds Irrigation and Resurfacing $300,000.

• Leongatha Precinct Project $1 million.

• Community Hub Korumburra $812,000.

• Leongatha Main Office Refurbishment $600,000.

The reduction of cash from operating activities of $6.9m in 2022/23 compared to 2021/22 is largely the result of recognising 50% of council’s 2022/23 Victorian Commission Grants revenue in advance in the 2021/22 financial year as advised in the State Budget.

This accounts for $5.5m of the reduction.

Other operating grants have reduced $4.36m (including a one-off Storm Grant in 2021/22 of $2.2m).

Borrowing: Amount of borrowings as at June 30, 2022 is expected to be $7,366,000, increasing to $10.5m in 2022-23, to $10,9m in 2023-24 and $14.5m in 2024-25.

Property values up $4b

THE incredible rise in the value of all classes of property has been underscored by details provided in the draft South Gippsland Shire Council budget.

The document shows that across the board, property in the shire has risen by almost $4 billion in value, up 38 per cent in the 12 months from 2021-22 to 2022-23.

Although the shire’s budget shows that vacant land (other than rural vacant land) increased by 55 per cent in value during the 12 months, the most significant increase was the 40.2 per cent rise in the value of residential properties. Rise in property values:

• Residential: 40.2%

• Industrial: 16.6%

• Commercial: 27.42%

• Farm: 36.03%

• Vacant rural: 38.92%

• Vacant (other): 55.34%

• Cultural and recreational: 20.74%

• Total value: 38.13%