Hume council adopted its final budget on Monday night, which includes a 1.75 per cent rate increase and a “record spend” on infrastructure.
The budget includes a total income of nearly $462 million, with an operating expenditure of $356 million, generating a $105 million surplus.
At a meeting to adopt the budget, councillor Karen Sherry praised a $101 million spend on infrastructure in 2022-23, as well as its $165 million boost to services including waste collection, street sweeping, meal delivery and graffiti removal.
“We’re offering all of this in a fiscally responsible manner in a constrained environment,” Cr Sherry said.
Cr Jarrod Bell said with the growth of the municipality came additional costs and challenges, which meant it was necessary to meet an “increasing demand on services and requirements”.
“Our community is one that is recovering from one of the greatest economic and community health challenges of this century,” Cr Bell said.
“This budget sets us up as a community ready to thrive, ready to bounce back and ready to build the infrastructure and deliver the services that our community needs.
“We are a city that is growing, we are a city that is coming back to life, a city that deserves the services and deserves the infrastructure that this budget will deliver.”
New funding included in the 2022-23 budget include $3 million to commence building the Evans Street car park in Sunbury, $6 million on road resurfacing and $50,000 on the Sunbury Aquatic Centre car park.
Cr Trevor Dance raised concerns about the rate rises and increased spending, saying “the community are hurting”.
“The hurt will only grow as the cost of living skyrockets, I really have seen no serious attempts at reducing our costs at all in this budget tonight,” Cr Dance said.
He said though he had requested a breakdown of administration costs of council, he had still not received them.
Crs Jodi Jackson, Jim Overend and Trevor Dance voted against the adoption of the draft budget. Cr Sam Misho was absent.
Mayor Carly Moore said the rate rise was a “really good outcome” for the community.
“We do some amazing work at council and I think that a 1.75 per cent rate rise to be able to continue to deliver those amazing things is a good outcome,” Cr Moore said.