Multi-million dollar drop for capital works

Drainage improvements at Beaconsfield Station are included for capital works.

More than $80m is set to be allocated for Cardinia Shire Council’s draft capital works program for the 2024/25 financial year, a drastic drop from the previous year of $113.8m.

The capital works program is part of the draft budget, which was presented on Monday night at council’s meeting.

According to council documents, they plan to commit $238.3 million in capital infrastructure over the next four years, with an $82.3 million capital program (including $21 million carry-over from 2023/24) in the 2024/25 financial year.

The previous financial year saw $29.3m carryover from 2022-23.

Of the total capital works program for 2024/25, $64.7 million is allocated for renewal and upgrade of $2.5 billion worth of community assets.

Loan borrowings of $20m were proposed for the 2024/25 draft budget, with council highlighting that providing community services is increasing meaning they will ‘further draw on available loan borrowings’ for capital works projects.

Funding streams for the capital works program include:

Grants: (2024/25 budget) $17,809,000; (2023/24 forecast) $47,663,000

Contributions: (budget) $3,578,000; (forecast) $18,207,000

Council cash: (budget) $40,950,000; (forecast) $17,919,000

Borrowings: (budget) $20,000,000; (forecast) $30,000,000

Highlights and projects include:

Roads and bridges ($29.9m) – Connect Road and Tenby Road, and ongoing maintenance of roads and footpaths.

Drainage ($1.4m) – drainage improvements at Beaconsfield Station, Macclesfield Road, and Tynong Roads and rehabilitation works at Nobelius Heritage Park.

Buildings ($22m) construction of the Thewlis Road Child and Family Centre and Pavilions at Upper Beaconsfield and Cora Lynn recreation reserves, as well as maintenance and refurbishment for council-owned buildings.

Recreational, leisure and community facilities ($1.8m) – renovation of the Pakenham Pool, installing new cricket nets at Chandler Recreation Reserve, and upgrading lighting at the Nar Nar Goon Recreation Reserve.

Parks, open space, and streetscapes ($6.7m) – completing works at Officer District Park, constructing stage 1a of the Pakenham Revitalisation project and installing new playgrounds at Toomuc Recreation Reserve, WB Ronald Park, and Greenland Ct Reserve.

The draft budget also notes that construction costs, such as materials and labour, are ‘escalating beyond that which can be reliably estimated’.

Budgeted capital grants, which include all monies received from State and Federal Government sources for the purpose of funding the capital works program, are expected to decrease by $20.2 million compared to the 2023/24 forecast.

In total, $17.8 million capital grants are budgeted.

Some of the more significant budgeted capital grants for 2024/25 are $4.9 million for the Thewlis Road Child and Family Centre, $7.9 million for the Sealing of the Hills program and a total of $2.2 million from Roads to Recovery for local roads.

Revenue from contributions is also projected to decrease by $4.4 million or 6.7 per cent compared to 2023/24.

This is primarily due to an estimated decrease in the value of monetary developer levies.