Cash injection for Hume

Upgrades to Sunbury Aquatic Centre, implementation of the Sunbury McMahon Recreation Reserve master plan and construction of the Hume Global Learning Centre are the big ticket projects Hume council is funding in its draft budget for 2017-18.

The draft budget, which went out for public feedback this week, proposed to spend $79 million on works across the municipality.

It includes a rate rise of two per cent in keeping with the state-imposed cap in rate increases.

Mayor Drew Jessop said the budget reflected the “biggest investment ever” in the future of the area. He said significant effort has been undertaken to make a priority of projects that best meet the needs of each community.

“Council is motivated by a commitment to make the lives of our community better and in 2017-18,” Cr Jessop said.

The draft budget includes a massive $7.5 million injection into the planning and construction of the Hume Global Learning Centre which will house Sunbury library and include community spaces for residents and local organisations, study rooms and conference rooms.

The council is set to splash $1.1 million on the upgrade of Sunbury Aquatic and Leisure Centre, including a heated pool and building improvements, in the next financial year.

It also plans to spend $1.6 million putting the Sunbury McMahon Recreation Reserve master plan in motion. Another $5.8 million has been earmarked for roadworks while $2.6 million was proposed for footpath rehabilitation.

“In all, this is the largest ever spend on infrastructure in Hume,” Cr Jessop said.

“We have also reviewed and reduced our fees in relation to use of community facilities for community groups to make these more accessible and affordable.

“With more people choosing to call Hume home each year, we expect to welcome more than 50,000 residents over the next decade and there needs to be careful consideration of all factors so that we con continue to provide high quality services and facilities.”

Hume’s Draft Council Plan 2017-2021, which is also out for public feedback, as well as the Draft Budget 2017-18 were presented at councils May 8 meeting after

Star Weekly went to print. Public submissions are open for both documents until June 7.