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Wyndham Council’s 2024-2025 Budget Faces Scrutiny as Fiscal Management Questions Arise

Wyndham City Council Budget

Amidst Rapid Growth, Council Prioritizes Infrastructure, But Concerns Over Fund Allocation Persist.

As the Wyndham City Council unveils its Proposed Annual Plan and Budget for 2024/25, questions are emerging about the council’s handling of finances, particularly after the recent disclosure of $36.16 million in long-dormant developer contributions. This substantial sum, reportedly “unlocked” after years of obscurity, has ignited both enthusiasm for potential community enhancements and intense debates over the council’s transparency and fiscal management.


The proposed budget, presented as the council’s term nears its conclusion, pledges to deliver a balanced capital works program designed to accommodate Wyndham’s status as Australia’s fastest growing municipality. With a budget that includes a $164.5 million allocation for capital works focusing on new and improved roads, parks, and active transport improvements, the council aims to meet the escalating demands of its expanding population.

However, while the budget highlights considerable investment in infrastructure and services, maintaining rate variations within the state-imposed cap of 2.75%, it also raises concerns among community members and councillors alike. Critiques focus on whether the allocation of funds truly meets the needs of all community sectors, particularly the older areas like Wyndham Vale, Hoppers Crossing, and Werribee South, which, according to Councillor Mia Shaw, lack the developer contributions of newer areas and are consequently neglected.

Further controversy surrounds the proposed $26 million expenditure on the Little River road widening, a project opposed by Councillor Josh Gilligan, who argues that the costs are disproportionately high compared to the community’s contribution of approximately $800,000 in rates. Gilligan advocates for a redistribution of funds to more critical areas.

Moreover, Councillor Marcus highlighted a discrepancy in spending, pointing out that while the council’s wage bill stands at a hefty $204 million, only $165 million is designated for roads, which she describes as being in “dire condition.” The absence of detailed plans for spending legacy funds, accumulated over the past two decades, further complicates the council’s financial strategy.

This fiscal year marks the end of the current Council Plan, with the council having delivered 250 capital works projects to date. Despite these achievements, the revelation of the previously unutilized $36.16 million has led to a surge of scrutiny, with residents demanding greater clarity on how such funds were overlooked and how they will now be utilized to address long-standing infrastructure and service gaps in the community.

The council commends the 2024/25 Proposed Budget to the community and has opened it for public feedback during the ongoing community engagement process. As discussions unfold, the focus remains on ensuring that these funds are managed effectively to foster sustainable growth and equity across all of Wyndham’s diverse localities.

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