City opens listening posts for budget
THE City of Greater Geelong has started a first round of “Listening Posts” so residents and businesses can discuss the council’s proposed 2022-23 Budget with councillors.
The opening session was held in the Bellarine Ward, outside the Drysdale Uniting Church, on Saturday morning.
The next four will be held this Saturday, May 14, in four different locations:
Windermere Ward – 10.30-11.30am, Lara Centreway; noon-1pm, Corio Village Customer Service Centre
Brownbill Ward – 10.30-11.30am, Pakington Street on grassed area outside Town Hall; noon-1pm, Newcomb Central Shopping Centre, front entrance.
Councillors will be able to chat informally about the funding proposed for ward-specific projects, as well as other topics of interest.
Geelong deputy mayor Trent Sullivan said last year’s Listening Posts were a success.
“Councillors are looking forward to meeting community members in their wards and running them through the millions in funding proposed for community facilities such as parks, arts hubs and shared trails,” Cr Sullivan said.
“These Listening Posts allow us to fully understand the issues that matter most to residents and are part of our commitment to make ourselves more accessible to the community.”
Cr Anthony Aitken, chair of the council’s citizenship and community engagement portfolio, said connecting to the community was vital to being an effective councillor.
“It’s so important for us to keep our ears to the ground and understand the specific issues that affect each ward,” Cr Aitken said.
“We encourage community members to join us and ask us questions about the Draft Budget and proposed asset sales, and raise any ideas or issues.”
All community members are welcome to attend the sessions and there is no requirement to pre-register.
Each session will be held in a COVIDSafe manner in line with government directions.
The proposed budget’s key features include supporting a raft of capital works projects and progressively increasing spending on existing assets.
It also incorporates the Rating and Revenue Plan annual update and the proposed sale of council land.
Through the Rating and Revenue Plan, the city has proposed to set out its system of how rates are sourced from the community.
To help ensure that the needs of the community are met in coming budgets and reduce debt levels, the city is also seeking submissions on the potential sale of four surplus properties.
Submissions are being invited on all topics in the proposed budget, with the submission period closing at 5pm on Tuesday, May 24.