Council Justifies Skewed Budget Plan

Filed in Just In by June 9, 2020

THE Upper Hunter Shire Council received 89 written submissions from groups and individuals for the Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan, which they plan to adopt at the Council meeting on June 29.

In a statement released this morning by Council, a central question in submissions was the equity of the budget throughout the Shire.

Council justified the proportion of budget spend was due to 42.6 percent of their income and revenue being derived from state and federal grant funding for major projects which “unsurprisingly…tend to be in areas of highest population;” while only 10 percent of their income and revenue is from general rates.

Further, the Council statement explained, “if the government had decided to build a bypass at Aberdeen, that’s where those major projects would have occurred.”

Council highlighted the Scone Saleyard and Scone Airport Developments as key projects which they claim will generate a revenue stream for Council.

However, resident Daryl Dutton in his submission to Council, demonstrated all major developments by Council were not achieving projected revenues and were costing ratepayers money. (Read: Open Letter: Submission to Council’s Plans).

Council also announced an independent review of the Scone Airport Development, after all tenders received by Council were “well above” budget to begin work.

Recent budget priorities outlined by the Council included:

  • the Murrurundi to Scone water pipeline;
  • the Scone Airport Development;
  • the redevelopment of the Scone Saleyards;
  • associated projects with the Scone Bypass;
    • the new Scone Golf Course;
    • the White Park Arena development in Scone;
    • the purchase of Campbell’s Corner in Scone;
    • upgrades at the Bill Rose Sports Complex, and
    • the revitalisation plans for the main street of Scone.
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