GENERAL rates on properties in the Kingston local government area are set to increase by more than four per cent.
Kingston Council passed its final budget for the 2023/2024 financial year last week. The budget contained a 4.49 percent increase to general rates. Overall rates and charges will increase by an average of 3.5 per cent, the maximum allowed under the state government’s rate cap.
Kingston Council projects a surplus of nearly $1.1 million for this financial year. It is planning to spend $53 million on infrastructure projects – expenditure includes $7.6 million for local roads, $4.8 million for a community hub at Dingley Village, $4.4 million on a new pavilion at Regents Park in Aspendale, and $4 million on early works for the new pool in Mordialloc.
The mayor, Hadi Saab, says that council considered the current cost of living crisis while forming the budget. “It has been prepared in line with council’s commitment to sustainable budgeting, responsible financial management and the state government’s rate cap of 3.5 per cent and features a small surplus and substantial cost of living considerations,” he said.
“We are acutely aware that many in our community are under financial stress and therefore along with offering deferral and flexible payments options, we have also committed to providing aged and disability services to all regardless of ability to pay and 12 months of learn to swim classes to families in hardship.”
Saab said that the final budget had been shaped by resident contributions through the “Talking Kingston” online platform. “We are really fortunate to represent such a passionate and engaged community and we have received some tremendously thoughtful submissions that were all considered in the budget development process. While it isn’t possible to include every suggestion in the budget, we believe it balances the needs of our entire community and it will help build an even stronger, healthier, and more connected city,” he said.
“I’m excited to be part of building a Kingston we can be proud of as we strive for resilience, inclusivity, and diversity, and become the most liveable and sustainable city in Victoria.”
To view the budget visit kingston.vic.gov.au/budget