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Budget delivers for community

Council has released its proposed Annual Budget 2024-25, which includes $126 million for services and nearly $77 million in infrastructure investment.

Knox Mayor, Councillor Jude Dwight said the budget was informed by community feedback about what is most important.

"Last October, Council asked the community which services deliver the most value and if there are any areas Council should prioritise in this or future budgets," she said. "We have a good understanding of community priorities based on what you have told us previously, so this was an opportunity to check in and see if community priorities have shifted.

"Services that were most highly valued include open space and biodiversity, roads and transport, sustainability and climate response, early years, waste, libraries, seniors, sports and leisure, and health.

"Our budget invests a significant amount towards these priorities, including enhancing our playgrounds, parks and reserves, creating thriving habitats for our native plants and animals, supporting new parents and their babies and senior residents to live independently at home. It allocates funding to provide safe local roads, footpaths and shared paths, improve and maintain sporting and recreation facilities, and continues to implement actions under our Climate Response Plan such as replacing streetlighting with energy-efficient LEDs."

Highlights of the 2024-25 capital works program, which incorporates nearly $77 million in infrastructure investment, includes the following new funding:


  • $10.8 million on resurfacing and reconstructing local roads, using recycled material wherever possible, and renewing our drainage
  • $5.3 million to renew sports reserves and facilities, including Wally Tew and Lewis Park ovals, and Fairpark and Windermere cricket nets
  • $4.8 million to improve footpaths and cycling paths, in addition to $1.2 million to deliver a dedicated cycling path along Chandler Road, Boronia
  • $11.4 million to upgrade sporting pavilions, including Carrington Park Pavilion and, subject to confirmation of state/federal funding, pavilions at Tormore and Wally Tew reserves
  • $1.1 million to upgrade car parks in Stud Park Reserve, Carrington Park, Wantirna Reserve and Knox Park Reserve
  • $2.6 million for flood mitigation on Forest Road, Boronia, and create wetlands at Liberty Avenue, Egan Lee and Gilbert Park reserves to improve stormwater quality and management and enhance the natural habitat. This is in addition to contributing to Melbourne Water wetland works in Lewis Park.
  • $3 million in playground and recreation upgrades, including playground upgrades at Knox Gardens Reserve, Sovereign Crest Reserve and Roselyn Crescent Reserve. This is in addition to open space enhancements at Kings Park and Gilbert Park Skate Park.
  • $900,000 to continue with LED streetlight replacement along major roads in Knox, reducing energy costs and greenhouse emissions. 

Average residential rates in Knox continue to be among the lowest in metropolitan Melbourne. Overall rates revenue will increase by 2.75% in line with the Victorian Government’s rates cap.

Cr Dwight said successive years of rate capping has placed the budget under real pressure and the long-term outcome of this is inevitably reducing services and facilities for the local community.

"This budget was developed with the impact of inflation on our community and Council alike front of mind,” she said. “As we strive to keep up with increasing demand for services and facilities in a rate-capped environment we’ve been left with increasingly difficult decisions. One of these has been the decision not to proceed with the Stringybark Festival this year.

"We have worked hard to achieve $2.5 million in operational savings by improving our efficiencies and reducing costs, sourcing additional grant funds and increasing revenue from fees and charges to reflect true cost recovery.

"We are further restricted by rising costs associated with things like construction materials and fuel, which are fast outstripping inflation. There are lots of services that councils provide on behalf of state and federal governments where funding isn’t keeping pace with our costs and we are having to carefully examine what services we can continue providing."

Council has retained the rate rebate of up to $100 to all eligible pensioners on top of the Victorian Government’s pensioner rebate.

The final budget is expected to be adopted at the Council Meeting on 24 June 2024.


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