Under section 94 of the Local Government Act 2020, the Council must prepare and adopt a budget for each financial year and the subsequent three financial years.

The four-year ‘rolling’ Budget must:

  • give effect to the Council Plan
  • contain financial statements in the form required by the regulations (and accounting standards)
  • provide a general description of services and initiatives to be funded
  • identify major initiatives from the Council Plan that will be priorities for each financial year
  • for services funded in the budget, the prescribed indicators, and measures of service performance
  • total rate income and information on differential or fixed components of rates
  • a statement on whether Council intends to apply for an increase or variation to the rate cap.

The four-year budget will outline how resources will be allocated across initiatives, programs, services, and capital works, as well as financing and debt redemption/servicing. It also provides a comprehensive outline of all income to be derived from rates, fees and charges, grants, and other revenue.


Key components of the proposed 2023/24 Budget are discussed below.

Operating result

The 2023/24 operating result is budgeted to be a surplus of $9.453 million. The surplus is primary due to the receipt of $14.356 million of Capital Grant income, including $10 million to repair infrastructure damaged by flooding and storm events in 2022/23.

The proposed budget also incudes a 100 percent allocation of funding ($4.770 million) from the Financial Assistance Grant program.

Rates and charges

It is proposed that rates and the Municipal Charge are increased by 3.5 per cent in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rate system rate cap.

Increases less than 3.5 per cent have been considered and modelled, however, it is recommended that the full rate cap percentage increase be applied due to:

  • The 10-year cumulative impact of a ‘less than rate cap’ increase in general rates and charges, for example, a 2.9 per cent increase in general rates and charges in 2023/24 rather than 3.5 per cent results in a loss of more than $1 million in revenue over the next 10 years.
  • The organisation’s tenuous long-term financial sustainability. This proposed budget projects deficits in 2025/26 ($2.459 million) and 2026/27 ($2.530 million).
  • A 7.8 per cent increase in the Consumer Price Index to the December 2022 quarter.
  • A growing municipality that requires new infrastructure, programs and services.

General rates are budgeted to raise $15.018 million in 2023/24.

The Municipal Charge increases from $260.85 to $269.95 and will raise $2.152 million.

Waste management charges increase by 5 percent and will raise $4.247 million.

User fees

It is proposed that existing fees and charges increase by an average of 3.5 percent and will raise $3.622 million in 2023/24.

Operating grants

Operating grants total $6.839 million. The proposed budget, including $4.770 million from the Australian Government’s Financial Assistance Grant program.

Capital grants

Capital grants are budgeted to be $14.356 million in 2023/24. Key capital grants include an estimated $10 million from the Natural Disaster Financial Assistance scheme to repair damage to infrastructure caused by flood and storm events in 2022/23.

Receipt of a $2.8 million Benalla Art Gallery Redevelopment Project grant is also budgeted.

Employee costs

In 2023/24, employee costs are forecast to increase by $1.207 million (9.86 per cent).

The increase includes two temporary roles to:

  • project manage the Council’s substantial capital works program
  • coordinate the Rural Councils Victoria information technology shared services project.

Two new employees (1.2 EFT) will be engaged to deliver the Social Inclusion Action Group program. These positions are fully funded by the Victorian State Government.

Following the Council’s exit from delivering aged and disability services, an Ageing Well Project Officer will be permanently employed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for older Benalla Rural City residents.

Approximately $372,000 of the increase is due to a rise in wages and salaries in accordance with the Council’s Enterprise Agreement and a 0.5 per cent increase in the Superannuation Contribution.


No new borrowings are proposed for 2023/24. Borrowings are budgeted to total $2.173 million as at 30 June 2024.


Property assessments are projected to increase by 80, primarily the ‘Residential (Benalla)’ category by 73, to 8,366.

Capital Works

The proposed budget includes capital works of $21.206 million. New works total $17.869 million with $3.337 million of works carried forward from 2022/23.

Asset expenditure types: New $3.364 million, Renewal $16.505 million and Upgrade $1.337 million.

Capital works in 2023/24 will be funded by grants: $14.007 million, Council cash: $7.194 million and contributions: $5,000.

Key capital projects include:

Flood remediation works:$10,000,000
Benalla Art Gallery Redevelopment:$2,800,000
Waste management:$2,633,000
Drainage works:$1,182,000

The proposed 2023/24 Budget has been provided under separate cover and is available for download from the Council’s website.