Warrnambool | A City for Living

Council Plan review and developing the 2024-2025 Budget

Consultation Closed: Monday, December 11, 2023 - 5:00 pm
What we consulted you about

The Council Plan and the Budget  

DIARY DATE: the next Budget drop-in session will be at the Civic Centre on Wednesday, November 29, from 6pm to 8pm.

SURVEY LINK BELOW - scroll down to the survey if you prefer to have your say online or click here.



The Council Plan is Council's key strategic document and sets the direction of Council over a four-year period.

The current Council Plan 2021-2025 contains five key objectives, each of which is supported by a number of strategies underpinned by detailed actions which Council will undertake to achieve the objectives in the plan.

The annual Budget details the allocation of resources that are required to carry out the actions described in the Council Plan.

Although it is a four-year plan, each year Council works with the community to review the Council Plan to ensure that it remains relevant and aligns with community expectations.

Council also works with the community to develop the annual Budget.

Council is now seeking the community's help to review the Council Plan and develop the 2024-2025 Budget.

Not all aspects of the Budget are negotiable. There are some services that Council is required to provide under Victorian legislation. These include animal management, local roads, food safety, emergency planning and statutory planning.

Council also provides important services which are part-funded by the Victorian Government, such as the library, kindergartens and supervised school crossings.

Council provides many services on behalf of the Victorian and Australian governments, as Council is often in the best position to provide these locally. Examples are maternal and child health, immunisation and family and social support services. 

Council manages on behalf of the state the majority of Crown lands within the municipality such as coastal reserves and the Port of Warrnambool.

In other instances Council steps in to provide a service where there are no private providers, or where the private sector is unable to provide the range of services "at scale" for the community - examples of these services include AquaZone, the Warrnambool Art Gallery and community sport and recreation facilities. 

Every year Council has a responsibility to fund the maintenance, renewal and improvement of infrastructure assets valued at more than $600 million.

Council is required to adhere to Victorian Government rate capping legislation.

Each year Council will allocate, on a discretionary basis, a proportion of its budget in response to demonstrated community need. 

This consultation includes an online survey along with opportunities to be involved in in-person discussions.

The survey asks for feedback on the Council Plan and about the priorities for the Budget.

Before you complete the survey, here's a summary of the Council Plan along with some key Budget background. If you would like more detail and background you can read the complete Council Plan and 2023-2024 Budget.

You can also provide feedback in-person at two drop-in sessions on Thursday, November 16, 1pm to 3pm and Wednesday, November 29, 6pm to 8pm. 

And you can make a written submission to contact@warrnambool.vic.gov.au or to: 

Council Plan and Budget Feedback

PO Box 198

Warrnambool VIC 3280



Council Plan - the key objectives and strategies  

1. A healthy community
We will be a healthy, inclusive and thriving community with equitable access to services, cultural opportunities and recreational activities.

1.1 Be a welcoming and inclusive city: Warrnambool will be a city that is more welcoming to all and which fosters diversity.

1.2 Engagement with the Aboriginal community: Council will pursue improved partnerships and meaningful engagement with Aboriginal people to grow opportunities and better outcomes for Aboriginal people.

1.3 Health and wellbeing: Council will take action to improve health, wellbeing and safety outcomes for Warrnambool’s community.

1.4 An accessible city: Council will improve physical and social accessibility to community services, facilities, places and precincts.

1.5 Recreation, arts, culture and heritage: Council will support opportunities to participate in a wide range of recreational, arts and cultural programs that promote
activity, wellbeing, diversity heritage and which increase community connectedness.

1.6 Community learning pathways: Council will support and encourage lifelong learning that helps build community resilience and preparedness for change. 

2. A sustainable environment
We will protect and strengthen local ecosystems, enhance biodiversity and enable sustainable communities.

2.1 Natural environment: Council will enhance open spaces and infrastructure that support a healthy community, wildlife, flora, fauna and biodiversity.

2.2 Water and coastal management: Council will protect and enhance the health of Warrnambool’s coastline and inland waterways to protect and
improve biodiversity.

2.3 Environmental impact and a changing climate: Council will encourage innovation and initiatives that minimise Warrnambool’s environmental impact.

2.4 Water resource management: Council will promote and encourage awareness of sustainable practices in our work and in the community, including
water resource management.

2.5 Waste minimisation: Council will pursue programs to minimise waste throughout the community, industry and promote the benefits of reduction,
re-use and recycling of materials.

2.6 Awareness and celebration: Council will foster community awareness and recognition of the benefits of positive outcomes for Warrnambool’s environment.

3. A strong economy
We will support a resilient local and self-sustaining regional economy that encourages economic growth and provides increased employment opportunities that attract ongoing investment.

3.1 Build on competitive strengths: Council will support initiatives that foster ongoing development and investment in the industries which underpin Warrnambool’s economic strengths and comparative advantages.

3.2 Emerging industries: Council will encourage emerging industry sectors that contribute to Warrnambool’s economic growth and diversity.

3.3 Visitor growth: Council will facilitate Warrnambool’s visitor growth and year-round visitation through industry development, effective destination
management and promotion of attractions, experiences and by leveraging key events.

3.4 Workforce capability: Council will foster the development of a workforce capable of supporting the needs of the local and regional economy.

3.5 The digital economy: Council will facilitate greater digital capability.

4. A connected, inclusive place
We will provide high quality places that people value and want to live, work, play and learn in.

4.1 Effective planning: Council will ensure its planning acknowledges the unique character and attributes of local places and that that supports social
connection, equitable access, appropriate housing and sustainable population growth.

4.2 A connected community: Council will enhance Warrnambool’s connectivity through the delivery of, or advocacy for, improvement to roads, public
transport, footpaths, trails and digital infrastructure.

4.3 Stronger neighbourhoods: Council will foster neighbourhood connections and capacity building including the development of inclusive recreational and
cultural opportunities.

4.4 Sustainable practices: Council will promote and encourage the implementation of sustainable design across the municipality including the
attractiveness, safety, accessibility and functionality of our built environment.

5. An effective Council
We will be recognised as a collaborative Council and a high-performing organisation that enables positive outcomes for Warrnambool’s community, environment and economy and for Victoria’s South West.

5.1 Leadership and governance: Council will be a high-functioning team committed to respectful relationships, collaboration and ongoing engagement. It will provide strong, effective leadership, sound governance and informed decision-making.

5.2 Engaged and informed community: Council will ensure ongoing community engagement to identify changing needs and priorities when developing and delivering services and programs.

5.3 Customer-focused services: Council will continue to develop a program of Council services that are delivered to the community’s satisfaction.

5.4 High-performance culture: Council will foster an organisational culture to support engaged, committed and high-performing staff for the effective delivery of Council’s services and programs.

5.5 Organisational and financial sustainability: Council will ensure organisational and financial sustainability through the effective and efficient use of Council’s resources and assets.

5.6 Risk mitigation: Council will mitigate and manage organisational risks through sound management systems and processes.

5.7 Effective advocacy: Council will pursue effective advocacy by providing compelling materials for desired support and funding for community priorities through establishing strong relationships with other levels of government, strategic partners and key stakeholders.

5.8 Regional role and relationships: Council will acknowledge Warrnambool’s capability as the regional centre of southwest Victoria through appropriate leadership, advocacy and partnerships that enable greater opportunity for the region.


Budget fundamentals

Here's how Council has allocated its funds (from the 2023-2024 Budget)

Spending per $100 $
Construction, roads, paths and drains 23.70
Parks, recreation, libraries and culture 21.18
Aged and family services 18.76
Administration 12.79
Economic development and tourism 8.34
Engineering and planning 5.36
Environment, waste management and street cleaning 5.35
Regulatory control, public health and safety 3.75
Elected Council and governance .77
Total $100














Council revenue comes from a range of sources. Rates and charges comprise about half of Council's income with other major sources including user fees and charges and grants from other levels of government.

The amount that Council can increase rates by is set by the Victorian Government (the rate cap). That is the amount by which Council can increase its total revenue through rates and charges each year. This means that if the Victorian Government sets the cap at 2 per cent, that is the total amount Council can increase its rates and charges by - it does not mean that every property will have a rate increase of 2 per cent. The value of your property drives the value of the rates you will pay. The value of your property is independently assessed by the Victorian Valuer-General.

Here are Council's income sources (from the 2023-2024 Budget)

Source Amount ($) %
Rates and charges (property tax, waste management) 46,884,157 48.14
User fees and charges (eg swimming pool, kinders, parking, animal registration, planning fees) 22,759,321 23.37
Grants ( funds from other levels of government to partly fund other services and projects) 19,544,323 20.07
Contributions (from property developers, includes in-kind contributions eg roads and drainage) 7,180,820 7.37
Other income (asset sales, interest on investments) 1,027,550 1.05
Total $97,396,171 100%











The chart below shows the current allocation of funding to Council's five key objectives.



Capital works

Each year Council undertakes a range of capital works. Capital works are projects that involve upgrading an existing asset, renewing an existing asset or constructing a new asset. Capital works can involve buildings, road or other facilities, such as playgrounds or sports grounds. Each year Council delivers a capital works program worth millions of dollars.

Council is also required to forecast how much money it will allocate to future capital works.

For example our current budget includes the following forecast for capital works spending in 2024-2025.

Capital works category $'000
Roads 6,614
Recreational, leisure and community facilities 2,681
Footpaths and cycleways 1,860
Aquatic facility 53
Drainage 627
Parks, open space and streetscapes 607
Bridges 281
Coastal management 216
Holiday parks 215
Aerodromes 194
Other infrastructure 759
Total infrastructure $14,106













Ready to complete the survey?

Having read the background above, you might feel ready to tackle the survey below, which will remain open until 5pm, Monday, December 11.

However, if you have more questions or prefer a face-to-face discussion, please head along to one of our two Budget drop-in sessions. They're scheduled for Thursday, November 16, 1pm to 3pm and Tuesday, November 30, 6pm to 8pm.

You can let us know which one you would like to attend by sending us an email: contact@warrnambool.vic.gov.au


What happens next

Council will collate the survey responses and the results will be used to inform the development of the Budget. 

Written submissions will receive an individual response.

In 2024 draft versions of the 2024-2025 Budget and Council Plan will be released to the community for an