Big year of delivery for Council
Published on 20 October 2023
Hepburn Shire Council has outlined its highlights, achievements and challenges for the last financial year, with the release of its 2022/23 Annual Report.
Mayor Cr Brian Hood praised the achievements of the organisation in 2022/23.
“We have delivered a number of major projects over the last year, including a new pavilion at Trentham Sportsground Reserve, the mountain bike trailhead at Hammon Park in Creswick and redevelopment of Chatfield Reserve at Lake Daylesford. These projects are providing considerable benefits to the community and are well-used and highly valued spaces,” said Cr Hood.
“We also began constructing the 60-kilometre mountain bike trails as part of the Creswick Trails Network, and the new library and community facilities as part of the newly named The Mechanics Trentham (formerly named Trentham Community Hub),” he said.
The Annual Report provides the community with a report card of performance for the year. It reviews performance against the Council Plan objectives and notes how Council fared against the Local Government Performance Reporting Framework.
“It’s pleasing to see the progress being made on an extensive number of our projects and services, despite the challenges of sharply rising costs, diminished levels of government funding, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing massive exercise to rebuild roads and infrastructure badly damaged by several severe weather events experienced across the Shire,” said Cr Hood.
Throughout 2022/23, Council adopted important plans such as the Disability Access Inclusion Plan, Youth Strategy and Positive Ageing Strategy ‘No Barrier’. It also developed a Domestic Animal Management Plan which encompassed a dusk until dawn cat curfew along with a draft Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan.
Council has made significant progress on the delivery of the 116 actions within the four-year Council Plan, with 102 actions completed or on track, ten being delayed and four actions to begin in coming years.
Through the year Council awarded $182,000 of grants through its community, biodiversity, Landcare, events and artisan agriculture grants programs.
Cr Hood said the progress on reducing emissions was one of the highlights of the year.
“We made significant progress towards our commitment to net-zero carbon emissions outlined in our Sustainable Hepburn Strategy, with important work undertaken to secure a 100% renewable electricity supply, while continuing to reduce our fleet and transport emissions,” he said.
“Council is on track to achieve net-zero emissions from our own operations this financial year.”
“Reductions in community emissions were also on track with programs such as Hepburn Z-NET, our work with local sustainability groups and Hepburn Energy, and our regional collaborations through the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and neighbouring councils.
Other highlights include Council’s ongoing work with Djarra, the substantial investment in storm recovery work, receiving several Victorian and national awards and progressing our critically important Shire-wide strategic planning project, Future Hepburn.
“Thank you to our dedicated staff who continued delivering business-as-usual activities to our community, including building and maintaining roads and footpaths, collecting waste and recycling, maintaining and beautifying our many parks and open spaces, and delivering library, youth and positive ageing programs,” said Cr Hood.
The Annual Report includes a month-by-month overview of Council activities and achievements. Council will forward the Annual Report to the Minister for Local Government. It is available for review at www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/performance.