Council reflects on achievements and challenges

Melton civic centre. (Damjan Janevski) 260628_01

Liam McNally

Melton council has presented a report outlining its biggest achievements for the 2022-23 financial year at a council meeting on Monday, October 30.

Some of council’s highlights from the previous year include delivering multiple Children’s and Community Centres, the Melton Lifelong Learning Festival, three sporting strategies, a new football club for Aintree, more than 4000 new citizens welcomed to the municipality and 19,825 community members participating in 393 community programs.

There was also advocacy campaigns including the award-winning Moving Melton transport prospectus, Fix Our Roads, and state and federal submissions that resulted in $10 million committed each from State and Federal Governments for a to business case into upgrading the Western Highway and $14.9 million in state funding to duplicate the Melton Highway between Crown Drive and The Regency in Plumpton.

Deputy mayor Julie Shannon said the annual report tells the story of the past 12 months in Australia’s fastest growing municipality.

“It gives me enormous pride to reflect on all that council has achieved for our community in the past financial year and how we were able to again deliver the quality services and programs for our residents,” she said.

“I want to thank our residents for their support over the past 12 months and our executive team and their staff for the hard work that they do for the community.”

The biggest challenges for council identified in the report were managing the city’s fast growing population, attracting improved allied health and community services, investment in improved public transport and roads, and delivering key community infrastructure at the right time while navigating labour shortages and cost increases.

The report also stated there was a 12 per cent drop in maternal child health participation, which it said was due to increased birth rates and staffing shortages, resulting in the service needing to prioritise certain patients.

Councillor Ashleigh Vandenberg asked if council was doing anything to attract more staff and would consider relocation funding.

Melton council City Life director Troy Scoble said council has been working with the municipal association of Victoria to build service capacity.

We’ve undertaken a number of recruitment campaigns, and a communication strategy… I am happy to report that since June 2022 we have increased our nurses from 14 [equivalent full time] to 21, so we are moving in the right direction,” he said.

Council’s adopted annual Report 2022-23 will be sent to the state Local Government Minister.