Minister for Local Government Tim Bull has accepted the Sunbury out of Hume Panel report, which recommends the establishment of a new municipality, Sunbury City Council.
Releasing the report today with the Liberal candidate for Sunbury, Jo Hagan, Mr Bull said the Government was committed to implementing the majority of the panel’s recommendations including the new boundary, timeline and method proposed for establishing the municipality next year.
“Following considerable consultation with residents and ratepayers of the Hume City Council, I am pleased to announce a new era for local government in this area,” Mr Bull said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on an election commitment and will establish a new municipality to be known as the Sunbury City Council by 1 July 2015.”
Ms Hagan said the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to implementing the intent of the panel’s recommendations. This includes a boundary between the new municipality and Hume that runs along Deep Creek including the township of Bulla.
“Following the establishment of the Sunbury City Council, and as recommended by the panel, at a future time the government will consult with and consider the inclusion of Diggers Rest,” Ms Hagan said.
Mr Bull said administrators and an interim chief executive officer will be appointed and in place by 1 July 2015 to establish and run the new council until the election of councillors at the 2016 general council elections.
“The boundary of Hume City Council will be revised accordingly, however all existing Hume councillors will remain in place until the 2016 elections,” Mr Bull said.
“Melbourne Airport will remain within the Hume City Council with annual payments representing a share of airport ‘rates in lieu’ transferring from Hume to the new Sunbury council over the first 10 years.”
Mr Bull noted the panel advised that the minimum projected population capacity for a new municipality to be sustainable is around 100,000 and forecasts for the new Sunbury City Council estimates it will reach this level post 2035.
Hume City Council will have a population of more than 156,000 after it is restructured, growing to an estimated 230,000 in 2031.
“The Government has also accepted the panel recommendations regarding the method to be used for the division of assets, which means full proceeds from the development at Racecourse Road in Sunbury will be available to the new Council,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said only three recommendations were not supported by Government. These relate to a suggested cap on rates for the new municipality, the name of the new Council and the amount and timing of revenue from the Melbourne Airport to be transferred from Hume City Council to Sunbury City Council.
“I wish to thank the panel for its thorough work and commitment as well as the work of the Community Consultative Committee which was chaired by Member for Northern Victoria Region, Amanda Millar,” Mr Bull said.
Panel members Brian Haratsis (Chairman), Kelvin Spiller and Maxine Cooper provided expert advice on the most effective way to achieve the successful separation of Sunbury from the Hume City Council.
It has investigated in detail options for the new municipal boundaries and transition arrangements including the delivery of municipal services while having regard to the economic sustainability of the two restructured councils.
The panel has also worked with the Sunbury Community Consultative Committee and received over 70 submissions directly from interested individuals and groups to ensure community input into its recommendations about forming a new municipality.
The Sunbury out of Hume Panel report is available at www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/localgovernment
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