Proposed Council Budget 2021-2022
On 28 June 2021, council reported they had received 37 submissions on the budget proposal, two more than the 35 submissions reported and considered at the council meeting on 7 June.
On 26 April 2021, City of Boroondara presented their proposed Budget 2021-22. The proposal received 35 submissions from the community which were considered by council on 7 June.
The Tuck Stand
The proposed Budget 2021-22 reintroduced funding for the Michael Tuck Stand (Tuck Stand) at Glenferrie Oval, with $160,000 allocated to be spent in 2021-22 on a ‘Feasibility Study’.
Almost ten years after plans were first introduced to refurbish the Tuck Stand, the 2019-20 council budget projected an expenditure of $6.7 million over four years for the project. Much to the dismay of the local community, however, last year council postponed the project by five years, removing funding for the Tuck Stand entirely from the 2020-21 budget.
Council explained that the new feasibility study included in the 2021-22 budget proposal will involve long-awaited “consultation with a variety of key stakeholders, including community groups and sports clubs” and the development of a ‘scope plan’ for the future development of the Tuck Stand, focused on “creating a functional building to benefit the community while retaining the significance of the iconic stand”.
The study is expected to determine the necessary funding for the project in order to inform the development of future council budgets.
Glenferrie Road Placemaking Project
The new budget proposal also reintroduced $98,000 to be spent this coming financial year on the ‘Glenferrie Road Placemaking Project’, after council redirected expenditure for 2021-22 into the general placemaking budget last year.
Council explained that their many placemaking budget reconfigurations over the last two years have been to separate operational expenditure (coordination) from works expenditure (implementation).
Despite movement of funding to and from Glenferrie, council stated that no reduction had been made to the overall budget for the Glenferrie Road Placemaking Project, introduced in 2019-20 at a total of $2.6 million.
The $98,000 accompanies a $2 million general budget for ‘Placemaking Implementation’, set to include expenditure for Glenferrie Road such as: public art, community events, economic initiatives, landscape embellishments, minor infrastructure maintenance and upgrades (eg. street lights, public toilets, noticeboards), and designing major projects (eg. streetscape upgrades).
The community is still awaiting the release of the Glenferrie Road Place Plan for the final implementation stage of placemaking in Glenferrie after two years of consultation and development.
Funding for Greater Glenferrie
For the past five years, council has budgeted a significant but steadily decreasing figure for refurbishment works at the ‘605-609 Glenferrie Road Community Facility’ (Hawthorn RSL). However, none of these works have yet taken place. Once again, council has committed $383,500 to the Hawthorn RSL to be spent in 2021-22, explaining that persistent project delays are due to council’s close work with the Hawthorn RSL Sub-branch to plan for the future of the facility.
Council also proposed $20,000 for a feasibility study and $50,000 for minor renewal works at the Hawthorn Community House. The works will include improving spaces to meet current community needs, as well as improving the functionality of the centre with upgrades to the floor finishes, storage room, switchboard, heating and air conditioning, lighting, and repainting.
$1.1 million is proposed to be spent over the next four years on the implementation of the new Boroondara Bicycle Strategy, still yet to be released to replace the incumbent 2008-2018 strategy. Council will examine the Elgin Street to Glenferrie Road section of the ‘Box Hill to Hawthorn Cycling Corridor’ in 2021-22, committing an annual $160,000 over the next three years for feasibility studies to aid the state government project.
The proposal also includes $92,640 in future funding for the ‘Hawthorn Library Project’ to be spent on “investigations and feasibility reports to improve the Hawthorn Library” in the 2024-25 financial year.
After the multi-million dollar losses caused by COVID-19, City of Boroondara is set to end the 2020-21 financial year with a deficit for the first time in its history, reported at $10.31 million (account result deficit) in the budget proposal. Based on economic recovery, council has proposed a return to a projected $6.19 million surplus in 2021-22.
With council committing significant investment into community infrastructure across broader Boroondara with projects such as new and upgraded public toilets, roads and footpaths, sports facilities, and public and park lighting programs, the 2021-22 financial year could see the implementation of further improvements in the Glenferrie area.