I have voted against the draft budget for a number of reasons. While there are many valuable projects included in the budget, it lacks strategic integrity and the capital works program lacks rigour and transparency.
As a result, there is insufficient funding for key Council Plans such as the Integrated Transport Plan ($100,000), the Environmental Sustainability Plan and the Cycling and Walking Strategy ($300,000).
Funding for sporting pavilions ($200,000) has been alocated on an ad hoc basis without a transparent and equitable strategy to support allocations.
Revenue from Open Space contributions has not been allocated to open spaces with a clear nexus to the development from which the contribution has been sought.
Funding for improvements to roads ($2.5M) is not strategically tied to improvements for walking and cycling.
While I am pleased to see funding for some excellent projects in the Debney Ward and across the municipality, the budget requires improvement in the areas I have outlined before I can give it my full support.