11 February 2022

Where should council funds go? Eurobodalla ratepayers urged to make their own budget on dynamic platform

| Albert McKnight
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Eurobodalla Shire Councillor Tanya Dannock

Eurobodalla Shire Councillor Tanya Dannock previewed the online Balancing Act platform recently. Photo: ESC.

Eurobodalla residents can give their thoughts on where council funds should be flowing, as well as get a hands-on idea of how council’s budget works, with the launch of a new online platform.

By using Balancing Act, residents can indicate which Eurobodalla Shire Council services they value by assigning more or less dollars to each from a $1000 budget.

“Just like budgets at home, council also has a fixed budget,” Mayor Mathew Hatcher said.

“More of one thing means less of another.”

When you jump onto the platform, you must choose how to spend your $1000 from several essential areas council oversees.

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For instance, how important to you is transport over recreation? How do they stack up against public order and safety? Or should more money be going to environmental management and youth services?

Cr Hatcher said the platform was a tool that highlights to council any discrepancies between current budgeting and community expectations.

“It also explains how services are currently funded. Some services cost a lot of money but are largely funded by other levels of government, with little financial contribution from council,” he said.

“And some services – like water, sewer and waste – are not included because they are funded from their own rates and charges.”

Balancing Act is open for about a month, after which trend data will be presented to councillors for their review and used to determine possible changes to budgeting priorities.

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“Of course, council will need to balance any trends against other constraints, for example those services council is bound to provide by law, such as public and environmental health,” Cr Hatcher said.

Councillor feedback will be integrated into the draft Delivery Program 2022-26 and draft Operational Plan 2022-23 and go out for public comment.

To use Balancing Act, visit council’s website and click on the banner on council’s homepage. It is open now and closes on 9 March.

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