State budget cuts concern council officials

Hume City’s mayor Naim Kurt says he appreciates the cost-of-living relief provided in the Victorian Budget 2024/25 which includes a $400 school year bonus, free eye-care for children, and the Active Kids program

He also says he’s pleased to see advocacy regarding improved educational infrastructure has been realised through commitments for the funding of the Sunbury TAFE, Mickleham South Primary School, and various school facility upgrades. 

“We await further details on changes to the free kindergarten services delivery model and how the adjustments will impact access to early education in our fast-growing communities,” says mayor Kurt.

However, he says reductions in the Growing Suburbs Fund, which has previously supported vital projects in Hume, is a concern.

“It will limit the ability for council to co-fund and partner with the State Government in delivering timely community infrastructure,” he says.

Naim Kurt
Mayor Naim Kurt.

“We understand the difficult decisions the Allan Labor Government has made in delaying the Airport Rail Link’s construction. However, we believe this project is crucial for Melbourne’s north, employment and transport and we will continue our advocacy for this to be a top priority for future funding.”

In addition, Mayor Kurt says the Government’s decision to increase the waste levy and Fire Services Levy are of concern.

“The increased waste levy may exacerbate issues like illegal dumping, which already poses challenges to our community,” he says.

“Hume, and many local council areas, are already under siege from commercial scale illegal dumping, and we fear that the increased waste levy for tip usage will worsen this problem.

“Added to this, an increased Fire Services Levy that will support the delivery of state firefighting resources is understandable but challenging for households in the current climate.”

Hume City Council is to meet with northern council partners to discuss a regional taskforce regarding budgetary issues, particularly on the waste charge and the effect it is having on illegal dumping.