Brimbank to explore options for alternative funding streams
Brimbank Council is set to explore options for alternative funding and financing streams that would assist Council with funding major capital works projects in the future.
Brimbank Mayor, Cr Lucinda Congreve raised a Notice of Motion at the 15 October Ordinary Council Meeting, asking that Council receives a report detailing options for alternative funding initiatives, including associated benefits and risks, for Council to consider adopting.
In moving the motion, Cr Congreve said it is critical the report considers all necessary measures for implementing alternative revenue streams including governance structures, robust frameworks, legal obligations and exemptions under the Local Government Act and all related costs and timeframes.
“Brimbank has enormous potential for growth and is fast becoming a major activity hub for Melbourne’s west - with significant development capacity and investment opportunities.
“Our capital works program is set to grow and Council has a responsibility to ensure that our community is able to grow and prosper in a financially sustainable way.
“Essentially, we need to look at all opportunities to help reduce the funding gap for major development projects, including the St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub, Sunshine Leisure Centre, Deer Park and St Albans libraries, just to name a few.
“And at current revenue levels many of these infrastructure needs will not be met for some time.
“Considering alternative funding sources is a strategic approach to addressing budgetary pressures in a rate-capped environment.
“Council heavily relies on rates revenue with 76 per cent of overall revenue derived from rates.
“That’s challenging when we consider that Council has lost $20 million in forecasted revenue since rate-capping was introduced – enough to fund one-third of the St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub.
“Without alternative funding initiatives our community runs the risk of suffering ageing infrastructure and gaps in major capital investment for years if not decades to come.
“As a community-first Council we’re committed to building prosperity not only for our current community, but for future generations.
“Any financial decision making is an important matter for Council, and our primary goal, always, is to ensure healthy financial stability of Council.
“This approach could bring significant long-term benefits to our community. The report will enable Council to consider the risks and benefits of any new revenue streams and help us make an informed decision on the way forward,” Cr Congreve said.