Buloke Mayor Alan Getley content with 2023-24 budget, despite harsh climate for country councils
As most regional councils across Flow FM's listener base look to shore up their budget positions for the 2023-24 period, there are many shortfalls which will raise the eyebrows of ratepayers, while some councils will even run at a loss.
The Shire of Buloke is a local government area in Western Victoria which includes the towns of Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea Lake and Wycheproof.
The shire of Buloke's Mayor is Alan Getley and he appeared on Flow FM's Country Viewpoint program recently, telling listeners the council's latest budget is "good".
"It's a good budget, there's about $19.9 million of spending in that [budget], of that, there's close to $8 million in road funding along with the flood recovery road funding, making it very top-heavy I suppose on the road but we need that to be done after the flood event of October 2022," Mr Getley said.
"You have a moderate rise of the rate cap of 3.5% of total revenue for the budget and yeah, we look forward to some good community projects, capital projects and the road works being completed."
Getley was then pressed on whether funding set aside for road repairs would be sufficient given the dire state of regional roads that are reportedly littered with pot holes, particularly given the wet start to the 2023 winter season.
He responded by arguing that no one can predict the future.
"Whilst you can't predict what will happen, I mean obviously the catchments are wet, reservoirs are full so we could be in a position where we could see some flooding but you just can't predict that," said Mr Getley.
"But, we certainly need to plan and to continue to work on our flood recovery roads and just our general road maintenance works that we do every year, so we just need to be basically business as usual and then try and get on top of the flood damage so that the farmers and the general public can move around the shire."