Streamlining the 2024/25 budget engagement process

Drone photo of Sturt Street at sunset

The City of Ballarat is changing the way it engages with the community in relation to the preparation of the annual budget, shifting to a single engagement period prior to the preparation of the budget.

This comprehensive, earlier engagement process will ensure Council is better informed of residents’ priorities within the context of the Council Plan 2021-2025 prior to the development of the draft budget. Community feedback obtained during this period will help inform the priorities outlined in the budget.

Furthermore, in addition to the online MySay survey, the new engagement process will see Council officers more actively involve the community.

Additionally, this new engagement process will allow the 2024/25 Annual Budget to be considered by Councillors for adoption in May 2024 — a month earlier than in previous years.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson said that the City of Ballarat was actively seeking to improve consultation processes to ensure residents’ priorities are reflected in decision-making.

“Learnings from previous rounds of budget engagement suggest that engaging with the community after a draft budget has been prepared tends to create frustration and disengagement from the community, as they believe the budget has already been completed and there is minimal opportunity for change,” Cr Hudson said.

“Undertaking more comprehensive engagement at the beginning of the budget process will provide residents with an opportunity to voice their priorities for the budget prior to its development.”

The 2024/25 budget engagement period will begin on October 9 and will close on October 27.

Details pertaining to in-person drop-in sessions will be provided closer to the launch of the engagement period.

For more information, visit the Budget page on the City of Ballarat website.