City of Boroondara 2019-20 Budget
The Boroondara Council officially adopted their budget for the 2019-20 financial year on 24 June 2019. Council has committed to an ongoing significant investment in infrastructure ($75.62 million) over the coming year, including: roads ($11.3 million), buildings ($35.95 million), drainage ($5.13 million), parks, open spaces, and streetscapes ($8.12 million), recreational and community facilities ($3.24 million), footpaths and cycleways ($3.82 million), and library resources ($985,000).
Within the budget, council proposes to borrow $60 million over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 financial years to fund projects such as the Michael Tuck Stand refurbishment, implementation of the Recycling and Waste Centre Master Plan, and redevelopment of the Kew Recreation Centre. This borrowing strategy has increased by two-thirds from last year's borrowing strategy of $36 million.
The Glenferrie Times has dived into the budget to examine the council's investments in local projects, new initiatives, and major projects lined up across Boroondara. Thank-you to Boroondara Council for their responses to most of our enquiries regarding details on projects outlined in the budget.
The Michael Tuck Stand at Glenferrie Oval
Locally known as the ‘Tuck Stand’, the Michael Tuck Stand at Glenferrie Oval was built in 1938 and has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register for almost three decades. Since the relocation of the Hawthorn Football Club from Glenferrie Oval to Waverley Park in Mulgrave in 2006, the facility has been under-utilised.
Last year, the Glenferrie Times reported on the council's budgeted commitment to "refurbish [the] Tuck Stand, making it available for sporting and community use". At that time, council projected an expenditure of $8.8 million over three years. The current budget now includes the final year of the four-year projected expenditure, 2022-23, bringing expenditure for refurbishment works to a total of $16.7 million. These works will include a complete renewal of the facility, with the comprehensive project planning phase to commence soon.
The Hawthorn Arts Centre
The 2019-20 budget proposes a $350,000 upgrade at the Hawthorn Arts Centre, including general refurbishments of the clock tower (including window, roof, and flashing replacements, painting, and repair of the finials), enhancing the entrances (providing an airlock to control internal environment), and stripping and sealing all timber flooring.
Glenferrie Oval Weightlifting Centre and Hawthorn RSL
This year’s budget maintains council's previous commitments of $360,000 toward the Weightlifting Centre at Glenferrie Oval and $400,000 to the Hawthorn RSL. The works at the RSL will include general maintenance, such as replacing floor coverings, wall linings, bathroom fixtures and fittings.
The Glenferrie Road Shopping Centre Placemaking Project
No detail has been readily available on the expenditure of $2.6 million over the next three years on the Glenferrie Road Shopping Centre Placemaking Project. However, through our own research, the Glenferrie Times found that a key objective of the Boroondara Council Economic Development and Tourism Strategy 2016-2021 is to develop the "best-in-class neighbourhood shopping centres." This involves identifying priority shopping centres and piloting a "Council Place Making Model" that incorporates "urban planning, infrastructure, community services, heritage, arts and owner and tenant actions focused on activation, safety and revitalisation initiatives to stimulate neighbourhood shopping centres."
Food Organics and Green Organics (FOGO) Waste Service
As a part of their Waste Minimisation and Recycling Strategy, the City of Boroondara will be rolling out a Food Organics and Green Organics (FOGO) waste service to "divert food organics from the landfill stream and increase recovery and recycling of materials collected in the City of Boroondara". According to Boroondara Council, food organics make up almost half of all general waste collected by the council’s kerbside waste services, which are then taken to landfill to harmfully decompose.
The new FOGO service would allow organic waste (including all forms of food waste) to be processed into recycled products, such as soil conditioning products like fertiliser. The Boroondara-wide initiative will include all residents already serviced by the council's kerbside collection.
Last year's budget outlined a projected expenditure for the 'Food Organics/Recycling and Waste Centre Master Plan' of $5.55 million over four years - a capital works project which has been replaced by FOGO in this year's budget. The implementation of the FOGO waste service was originally planned to be introduced in the 2022-23 financial year, leaving time for expected logistical changes to be made. Once it was determined that no changes were needed, and the recycling facilities were in place, the entire project was brought forward to this financial year to "meet the expectations" of residents who have been "asking for the service" (Cr Jane Addis, Mayor of Boroondara). Boroondara's green waste disposal and recycling contract also expired in 2018, giving council the opportunity to reform their waste services to divert more organic waste from landfill. According to the current budget, the implementation of FOGO is set to cost $3.6 million spent entirely within the 2019-2020 financial year.
To cover the costs of FOGO, council will temporarily inflate waste charges in council rates for 2019-20. This means that Boroondara residents will receive a 16.3% increase (on average, per household) in their waste charge for one year. This increase is inclusive of the Victorian Government Landfill levy. The council plans to completely roll out the Food Organics and Green Organics waste collection service by the end of this financial year, with collections commencing May 2020. Over the next four years, Boroondara Council's major projects outside of Hawthorn include: the complete redevelopment of the Ashburton Seniors Centre ($7.7 million), complete redevelopment of the Camberwell Community Centre ($8.1 million), expansion and upgrade of the Balwyn Community Centre ($8.7 million), redevelopment of the Canterbury Community Precinct ($11.7 million), and most significantly, the full redevelopment of the Kew Recreation Centre ($61.2 million).