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Pandemic recovery funds in adopted Budget

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Warrnambool City Council’s 2020-2021 Budget includes an allocation of $1.95 million to help the community and businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. 
Council this week adopted its Budget, which details the resources required this financial year to fund the services for Warrnambool’s 35,000 residents.
“The Budget acknowledges the financial hardship facing many while investing in projects that will help stimulate the economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Cr Tony Herbert said.
“We have aimed for a balance between spending and restraint.
“We know that we have to stimulate our economy in the wake of the pandemic and that we must continue to renew or replace assets.
“But we also understand that some in our community are in difficult circumstances. With that in mind we have increased the rates by 2 per cent rather than the 4.5 per cent allowed for by the Essential Services Commission.”
“As a result of a number of positive waste initiatives we have been able to reduce the waste management charge which means that on the average property the increase in the overall rates and charges will be in the order of 1.2 per cent.”
Waste management fees through waste reduction initiatives have been cut by 2.79 per cent or $11 per property to $379.09
Council provides a range of services from kindergartens, childcare centres and home support services to waste collection and the maintenance of roads and footpaths.
This budget sees the average residential rate bill increase to $2,053 from $2,029 in 2019-20, which is $24 for the year.
Over 2020-2021, the Council will develop and use its existing resources and a community and business stimulus and recovery fund to develop and deliver initiatives to help the community regrow.
“The allocation of $1.95 million includes $450,000 of community and business support funds and the focussing of existing resources to community and business recovery efforts,” Cr Herbert said. 
The support package comprises:
            •  Community and Business Support and Stimulus Fund - $450,000 
            •  Small Infrastructure Fund 2020/21 - $891,000 
            •  Economic development unit - $545,000 
            •  Community development grants - $65,000 
“Council will review these efforts during the year and set a revised budget if required to best meet the needs of our local community and business,” Cr Herbert said.
“We will ensure we are reaching those with the greatest needs and we will leverage support from other levels of government to add value to our recovery efforts.”
Council has a substantial capital works program with an emphasis on asset renewal with an allocation of $18.5 million for asset renewals, upgrades and expansions.
Capital works highlights: 
Road renewals - $3.8 million 
Completion of the Lake Pertobe Master Plan implementation (Stage I) - $2.9 million 
Completion of the Reid Oval  - $11 million 
Library and Learning Centre - $1.3m
Energy saving initiatives - $1 million 
Community Support Fund - $810,000 

Beach access renewal - $180,000

View the full budget

  2019-2020 Increase/(decrease) 2020-2021 % increase/decrease
Average residential rates $1,367.77 $28.52 $1,396.28 2.00%
Municipal charge $271.70 $5.43 $277.13 2.00%
Waste management fee $389.98 -$10.89 $379.09 -2.80%
*Average residential rates and charges $2,029.45 $23.05 $2,052.50 1.20%


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