Consultation closed - Draft Annual Budget and Key Documents 2023/24

  • Project typeCommunity Consultation
  • Project scheduleCommunity Consultation closed at midnight on Sunday, 7 May 2023

Community consultation on the Draft Budget closed on Sunday, 7 May 2023.

Baw Baw Shire Council has prepared its 2023/24 draft Annual Budget, Long Term Infrastructure Plan, Council Plan 2021-2025 (Annual Review 2023/24), Rating and Revenue Plan, and Long Term Financial Plan for community consultation. 

These key documents detail how Council will utilise its financial resources over the coming budget year to translate the goals of the Council Plan and Community Vision into material outcomes for the benefit of everyone who lives, works, studies, and invests in Baw Baw Shire.

Prudent financial management and pragmatism in the face of economic and environmental challenges were the foundation on which the strategic documents were developed. They ensure that Council is well positioned to continue delivering services, programs, and projects to meet the needs of our rapidly growing community, while laying down the markers for healthy, thriving, and sustainable Baw Baw for years to come.

Community members were invited to make submissions for consideration in response to the draft documents to  ensure that Council's resourcing directly aligns with the community's expectations and long-term aspirations for the future.

Overview of the Draft Annual Budget

On Wednesday, 19 May, we held a live Q & A session on Facebook with Mayor of Baw Baw Shire, Councillor Annemarie McCabe. You can watch the below video to learn more about the budget and key documents, as well as the answers to questions asked by community members who tuned in.


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Review the key documents

Although the submission period has passed. You can use the drop down menu to access the downloadable version of each document, as well as a snapshot summary.

Annual Budget

Click here to download the Draft Annual Budget 2023/24(PDF, 6MB)

The Draft 2023/24 Annual Budget is a prudent and measured response to current economic and environmental challenges. As a Council, we are committed to facing these challenges with pragmatism and purpose, deploying our resources as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure that our residents have access to the services, infrastructure, and support they need. 

Use the drop down menu to learn more about the key projects and strategies we'll use to deliver a healthy, thriving and sustainable Baw Baw Shire. 

Operating Budget 

The 2023/24 Annual Budget represents income of $129.54 million, expenditure of $101.48 million, resulting in a surplus of $28.06 million. 

The $28.06 million surplus is then converted into an adjusted underlying result that better reflects Council’s level of financial stability. This result excludes grants received for capital purposes which are non-recurrent and capital contributions from others sources. The adjusted underlying result for 2023/24 is an underlying deficit of $3.44 million. 

This underlying deficit reflects a financial position consistent with the current rate capped environment of 3.5 per cent, and the realities of delivering services and infrastructure for a rapidly growing Shire population. 

Long Term Infrastructure Plan

Click here to download the draft Long Term Infrastructure Plan(PDF, 7MB)

Council’s draft Long-Term Infrastructure Plan will see $57.98 million of projects delivered across the financial year and feature the completion of a series of multi-year strategic projects that will provide a vital boost to residents and community facilities across the Shire.

Headlined by the Warragul Leisure Centre Stadium Expansion Project, the year ahead sees another significant investment from Council to deliver the sporting infrastructure required to meet the needs of our growing population.

Across the Shire there will be several multi-million-dollar pavilion projects taking place, providing players, coaches, umpires, and families with state-of-the-art facilities that are safe, accessible, and importantly, cater for demand now and into the future.

Through the Rokeby – Noojee Trail and Rollo Street Reserve projects, Council will continue its investment in high impact open space projects that enable passive recreational activities that contribute so much to both the physical and mental health of the community.

While these exciting projects are being delivered on the ground, Council is also laying down the markers for its next stage of major infrastructure projects; by following an approach that will plan, design, and deliver a healthy, thriving, and sustainable future for Baw Baw Shire. 

The Plan, Design, Deliver Approach

To enable Council to continue delivering an ongoing series of high impact projects, the organisation has adopted a plan, design and deliver approach, which allows the continued delivery of significant strategic projects and undertake planning and design work for upcoming projects at the same time.

The staggered approach ensures Council has a suite of shovel-ready projects to be considered for delivery in future years or towards submission in known or newly announced grant funding opportunities – as was the case with the recently completed Western Park Netball Facilities Redevelopment.  

Introduced following a review and realignment of the existing Long Term Infrastructure Plan to address economic pressures, La Nina weather events and contractor shortages, the plan, design, deliver method has also allowed Council to create a Community Infrastructure Reserve. The reserve will enable future investment in community infrastructure that may include recreation facilities, early years infrastructure and community facilities for the benefit of our residents. 

Through the 2023/24 draft Annual Budget and Long-Term Infrastructure Plan, Council will continue delivering for now, and planning for the future.

Council Plan 2021-2025 (Annual Review 2023/23)

Click here to download the draft Council Plan 2021-2025 (Annual Review 2023/2024)(PDF, 7MB)

The Council Plan represents a four-year road map for the Council and provides a guide to our strategic direction, objectives, and key strategies for the period 2021 - 2025 and the role that Council plays in achieving the Community Vision.

Each year the Council Plan is reviewed and updated as part of the budget process to reflect the progress made, initiatives implemented by Council, and to set the organisation’s strategic agenda for the next 12 months as we strive towards delivering a sustainable, healthy, and thriving Shire.

Included in the Council Plan 2021-2025 (Annual Review 2023/24) are the following initiatives:

A Sustainable Shire

  • Implement the Environmental Sustainability Strategy and corresponding two-year Action Plan. 
  • Identification and assessment of significant trees for the development of a Significant Tree Register. The Register will be considered for future protection amendments in the Baw Baw Planning Scheme. 
  • Prepare for the introduction of Food Organics and Green Organics (FOGO) collection and investigate options for separate glass collection in Council’s kerbside waste services. 
  • Develop and implement a Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan. 
  • Develop a Circular Economy Plan for Council consideration and implementation.

A Healthy Community

  • Ongoing implementation of the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan and corresponding Annual Action Plan. 
  • Development and successful transition to new waste contracts, including community education and support. 
  • Continued advocacy for external funding to contribute to the Baw Baw Culture and Connection Precinct - Stage One - Library and Learning. 
  • Assess the existing network of paths, trails, and reserves in Precinct Structure Plans (PSP’s) to identify opportunities for connections to growth areas. This project also includes the targeted assessment of street cross-sections in the PSP's and in some cases the potential impact on surrounding vegetation. 
  • Undertake review of Council's Open Space Strategy and begin the development of the Open Space Landscape Guidelines.

A Thriving Community

  • Implement the Economic Development and Visitor Economy Strategy. 
  • Support the local community economy and vibrancy with the allocation of major events funding. 
  • Implement Creative Communities Strategy for Baw Baw Shire, supporting community vibrancy and engagement. 
  • Advocacy on Baw Baw road transport priorities including the Drouin Arterial Road Network Planning. 
  • Continued focus on Shire roads and delivery of Capital programs across Council's Gravel and Sealed Roads, and Road Safety projects. 
  • Increased resourcing to the Advocacy function to maximise the prospect of gaining external funding for strategic advocacy priorities. 
  • Increased resourcing to the Tourism and Events function to deliver outcomes included in the Economic Development & Visitor Economy Strategy.
  • Advocate for State Government support towards the implementation of the Best Start, Best Life reforms, including increased access to funding for infrastructure and ongoing maintenance obligations for Early Years services. 

Supporting a Sustainable, Healthy, and Thriving community

  • Development and delivery of an internal Future Ready Baw Baw program, to meet the future needs of the community. Focused on Information Technology (IT), Services, Workplaces, and People. 
  • Develop a Depot Strategy to ensure Council can continue to conduct works and deliver services that meet the needs of the community into the future. 

Revenue and Rating Plan

The rate increase for 2023/24 is capped at 3.5 per cent in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System.

Rates are calculated as a percentage of the Capital Improved Value. 

The 3.5 per cent increase applies to the total rates revenue received by Council, not to increases to individual ratepayers. Total revenue from rates and charges for 2023/24 is $73.85 million (including supplementary valuations and interest on rates and charges).  

For context, the cap on rate increases is less than half the CPI increase (inflation) over the twelve months to December 2022. This disparity illustrates just how challenging the current environment is for Councils to deliver services and infrastructure while operating in a rate-capped environment.   

Fees and Charges 

Whether it’s at the petrol pump, in the grocery store, on the building site or in the office, inflationary pressures are having a real impact. Council isn’t immune to these pressures.  

In the current rate-capped environment, amidst surging inflation, rates revenue alone is insufficient to deliver the services and infrastructure that Council is required to deliver.  

Regardless, Council has kept its average annual fees and charges adjustments to 6%, well below the CPI increase of 8.0% in the 12 months to December 2022.  

For further details please refer to the Rates and Valuations fact sheet. 

Long Term Financial Plan

Click here to download the draft Long Term Financial Plan(PDF, 649KB)

The Long Term Financial Plan is developed to align Council's financial capacity with long-term service objectives. Financial planning uses forecasts to provide insight into future financial capacity so that strategies can be developed to achieve long-term sustainability considering Council’s service objectives and financial challenges.

The Long Term Financial Plan is designed to provide the following objectives:

  • Establish a prudent and sound financial framework, combining and integrating financial strategies as expressed in the Council Plan;

  • Provide an assessment of the resources (financial and non-financial) required to accomplish the objectives and strategies included in the Council Plan (non-financial resources are assumed to include human resources) and Council’s asset base;

  • Establish a financial framework against which Council’s strategies, policies and financial performance can be measured;

  • Ensure that Council complies with sound financial management principles, as required by the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) and plan for the long-term financial sustainability of Council.

  • Allow Council to meet the objectives of the Act to promote the social, economic and environmental viability of municipal district and its role in maintaining the viability of Council to ensure that resources are managed in a responsible manner.

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Community submissions

Council will consider all submissions made during the budget process at a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, 17 May 2023 at the West Gippsland Arts Centre.  

Fact sheets

The fact sheets below summarise the key points of the draft Annual Budget, Long Term Infrastructure Plan, Rates and Valuation, and Council Plan 2021-2025 (Annual Review 2023-24).

Click the links to download and review them. 

What happens next?

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. Your thoughts and ideas are highly valued and will ultimately inform the adopted 2023/24 Annual Budget, Long Term Infrastructure Plan, Council Plan Annual Review, Rating and Revenue Plan and Long Term Financial Plan.

Following the consultation period, Council Officers will consolidate comments and feedback and consider all submissions to assist in making recommendations to Council.

All forms, submissions and correspondence will be acknowledged either by electronic response, email or letter so that you know your comments have been received.

Following the public exhibition period, Council will consider public submissions at a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday 17 May 2023.

Contact us

Have questions? We’re here to help. For more information about this project, please call Council’s Finance Team on 1300 BAW BAW (1300 229 299) or 5624 2411 or send an email to