2013/14 Draft Business Plan & Budget

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This consultation has concluded.

The Cave GardenThe City of Mount Gambier wishes to thank all community members who contributed in providing feedback on the draft 2013/14 Business Plan & Budget.

Having considered all formal submissions made during the public consultation and having regard to all relevant information in the possession of the Council, the 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget was revised and adopted with a reduced rate of 6.1%.

To view the 2013/2014 Business Plan & Budget please visit our website.

Thank you again for your contribution.

Have your say on the 2013/14 Draft Business Plan & Budget

The City of Mount Gambier has released its draft 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget and is now seeking the views of all interested persons.

Council has a commitment to incorporate the highest levels of public consultation and communication when considering all aspects of the forthcoming 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget.

How can you have your say?

Have Your Say - Participate Today!

The Cave GardenThe City of Mount Gambier wishes to thank all community members who contributed in providing feedback on the draft 2013/14 Business Plan & Budget.

Having considered all formal submissions made during the public consultation and having regard to all relevant information in the possession of the Council, the 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget was revised and adopted with a reduced rate of 6.1%.

To view the 2013/2014 Business Plan & Budget please visit our website.

Thank you again for your contribution.

Have your say on the 2013/14 Draft Business Plan & Budget

The City of Mount Gambier has released its draft 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget and is now seeking the views of all interested persons.

Council has a commitment to incorporate the highest levels of public consultation and communication when considering all aspects of the forthcoming 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget.

How can you have your say?

Have Your Say - Participate Today!

Guest Book

The City of Mount Gambier seeks the views of interested persons on the draft 2013/14 Business Plan and Budget. Please take a moment to leave a comment in our guest book.

This submission seeks to address key strategic goals as outlined in the abovementioned draft council plan and budget with specific reference to the new complex that is The Main Corner.

Since the opening of the new complex it is, in the opinion of this writer/resident, a wonderful structure that graces the city. With the neighbouring Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre and the library, it completes the Watson Terrace/Bay Road precinct as the cultural/learning centre of the city. However, I feel that it has yet to realise its full potential as such.

The following proposals for various rooms/spaces at the complex have not being costed and analysed however are worthy of consideration, as a means of:

- embracing the council’s strategic goals of Learning, Diversity, Economic
Prosperity, Environment, and Community Well-Being
- promoting the city and the greater Limestone Coast region
- attracting more tourism to the region
- generating revenue for council
- creating employment


1.1 Action:
a) Expand the current display into a complete Natural History exhibit of the
region by incorporating photographic and taxidermal displays, with
scientific drawings and models of local indigenous flora and fauna.

b) Attach a suitably qualified Education Officer, tasked with developing
educational kits for school-aged visitors and tourists, guiding exhibits,
and offering talks/lectures on local natural history and current/topical
environmental features.

c) Link the exhibit with mini-bus field trips with suitably qualified
driver/guide to local native forest reserves, wetland areas (eg Piccaninnie
Ponds, Bool Lagoon), caves, and local bicycle tours to take in local sites of
historial/geological/natural significance.

1.2 Additional Support:

a) Seek sponsorship and/or other in-kind support to service the above
proposal through businesses and state or federal government
departments such as Forestry SA, SA Water, Department of Environment,
Water and Natural Resources.

1.3 Expected Outcomes:
a) Increased visitation through use of the King’s Room Natural History exhibit
as a central meeting and learning place for local community and special
interest groups such as nature enthusiasts, horticulturalists, bird watchers,
environmental sustainability and conservation groups, schools, tertiary
students, tourists.

b) Revenue is generated by charging a small fee for guided talks, lectures,
educational kits, field trips.

1.4 Strategic Goals Achieved:
a) “Learning” of the region’s unique geological features, coastline, ecology,
flora and fauna through a more complete experience with accompanying
field trips that complements the existing installation and ‘Volcano’ film,
for the benefit of the local community and visitors.

b) “Environment” is promoted through awareness and education made
available through the exhibit and accompanying talks/lectures.

c) “Building Communities” through various activities linked to the exhibit and
offering a meeting place for like-minded people; promoting civic pride
with a dynamic and educationally enhanced exhibit.

d) “Diversity” is embraced with the recognition and inclusion of a variety of
community and special interest groups who contribute to the well-being
of the natural environment in the region

e) “Economic Prosperity” secured with increased visitation to the complex by
inbound tourists and interstate visitors who generally seek out to engage
in facilities and features that are unique to a destination; increased
visitation would potentially increase the revenue generated by the venue
which may experience some seasonal high’s and lows at the outset where
tourism is concerned however this may be mitigated with quality services
and displays that may become highly sought after by school groups from
the extended reaches of the region.


2.1 Action:
a) Extend the Riddoch Art Gallery exhibition space to include the
balcony/upper foyer area exclusively for a permanent Aboriginal Art and
Craft exhibit with works from the permanent collection to be augmented
with those from local indigenous artists.

b) Attach a suitably qualified guide to the exhibit from the permanent
collection OR offer pre-recorded audio explanation with headphones for
visitors who for a small fee can access extended information about the

c) Schedule regular craft workshops every three months OR to coincide with
school-holiday periods

2.2 Additional Support:
Seek support and advice from local aboriginal elders, the Department of
Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Department for Communities and
Social Inclusion, Country Arts SA.

2.3 Expected Outcomes:
Increased visitation to the venue from those seeking to view arts and crafts
of local indigenous peoples, particularly inbound tourists and members
of the local aboriginal community, artists and arts students; regular
workshops offer a more active and dynamic appreciation of creative

2.4 Strategic Goals Achieved:

a) “Diversity”: the exhibit would demonstrate council’s strategic goal to
"ensure social inclusion principles”.

b) “Building Communities”: the exhibit would add to civic and community
pride by embracing aboriginal culture in high profile venue

c) “Community Well Being”: the exhibit would enhance the holistic health of
the local aboriginal community and promote strengthening of community

d) “Learning”: a permanent aboriginal exhibit would help promote respect for
the local aboriginal community whilst celebrating their achievements.


3.1 Action:
a) A specialty Wine Bar & Restaurant is envisaged for this space to
exclusively sell and promote wines of the Limestone Coast and
Coonawarra regions and offer tastings. A further service to complete the
experience would be to offer….

b) Mini-bus tours to local wineries, the Coonawarra and vineyards further
afield in the Limestone Coast region. Such bus tours would offer means of
travel to wineries for those tourists arriving by plane or coach, reduce
the number of vehicles on our roads, and enable safe travel for all visitors
intent on wine-tasting without the responsibility of driving.

c) With a fully fitted-out commercial kitchen it can offer lunch and dinner
service with a limited and simple menu of high-quality and seasonal local

d) Live music (of the non-amplified classical/jazz/folk genres) by solo
performers or small ensembles would provide an added attraction that
would be an alternative to the current live music scene and offer much
needed employment to local artists.

3.2 Additional Support:
Partnerships could be sought and established between the Coonawarra
Vignerons Association, various wineries in the local area and wider
Limestone Coast region and, an ‘attractive’ lease arrangement of the
premises could be agreed upon until the business was established.

3.3 Expected Outcomes:
a) The space would generate income for the council through leasing of the

b) With the attraction of a specialty regional wine bar and restaurant, tourism
revenue is generated through increased visitation to the complex by
promoting local regional wines and other fresh local produce.

c) The additional service of mini-bus tours enhances the experience for the
tourist whilst bringing additional business to our region’s vineyards and
assuring safety of travel for tourists, enabling them to fully enjoy the
wine-tasting experience without the responsibility of driving.

d) The proposed wine bar and vineyard tours would generate employment for
chefs, kitchen-hands, sommeliers, waiting staff, musicians, bus drivers.

e) The proposed wine bar would provide an alternate and unique place for
out-of-town business executives and locals alike to enjoy the fruits of
local produce when dining or for informal gatherings in the serenity of the
exclusive surrounds of the Cave Gardens

f) The proposed wine bar need not preclude bookings for private functions
and would in fact make the premises a more attractive offering for those
seeking a venue with top quality service matched with beautiful

3.4 Strategic Goals Achieved:
a) ‘Economic Prosperity’: the proposed specialty wine bar represents a new
business that not only supports other establishments in the wider region
but highlights another dimension to the cultural vitality of the region in a
new complex by bringing together local culinary delights with fine wines
and music.

b) ‘Learning’: such a business in this particular venue celebrates the region’s
assets and enriches a visitor’s experience of the city.


By virtue of its location and facilities, The Main Corner could be realised as a key asset that enables the council to harness the various local and regional attractions into a cohesive supply-chain emanating from the complex to better service the tourism industry and make this city a destination of choice for inbound, regional and interstate travellers (rather than the place for a brief stop-over en route to Adelaide or Melbourne).

Some consideration to re-brand this city may also assist in promoting this region as a tourist destination. Perhaps ‘Gateway to SA’s Limestone Coast’ or similar as it suggests its location and geographic context and implies a broader scope of attractions on offer.

Thankyou for the opportunity to respond and have input into the future of the City of Mount Gambier. I hope that you will give some thought to the proposals in this document.


N.Y.M. about 8 years ago

I support the council recommendation in redeveloping the old hospital and rail yards.
Times will be tough for all of us the next few years but council has presented a workable solution within conservative budget estimates. I am confident that they will adjust the rate increase to reflect the tough economic conditions that await us.
We have been well served by council over the years providing the excellent facilities available - Blue Lake Sports Park, Library etc etc - and the city can take another progressive leap by developing these sites. The old hospital is an eye sore and the rail land has untapped potential and both can be turned into magnificent assets.

Progress about 8 years ago

I dont support the rate increase. I dont think the council should go into debt.

I think more money should be allocated to tree planting and footpaths and bike lanes.

Catherine about 8 years ago

I do not support the planned rate increase of 6.9% each year over the next four or more years, it is too much in our current economic climate. If it was a one off then yes. Many in our community are struggling to pay their bills as it is and not everyone has a well paying job that can cope with constant increases in accounts. Put the railway land on hold until it can be afforded and the future of this land is completely known.

Maggie about 8 years ago

I have no problem with a rate increase of 6.9% for the 2013/2014 year. However I do have a problem of a rate increase of 6.9% over the following four years. The rates will actually increase by more than 6.9% for the latter four years
I support the C B D upgrade paving etc.but I feel that it should have been made into a Mall. my reasons are The footpath areas are narrow, the road area is narrow with car parking on both sides of the street. As the war babies, and the baby boomers get older there would be more gofors introduced onto an already narrow footpath
There is plenty of off street parking and walking to the shops, like we do at K mart and the Market Place Plaza
I support the Parks & Gardens Team Good Job well done
Although I support the Councils get fit program I don't support bike lanes. You have to have bike lanes on all roads or none at all.
I do not support the massive borrowing program mapped out by council
We have seen the big over runs in the past caused by our elected members
This cannot be allowed to happen again
It always seems to cost Council more for projects why
We have seen the hay shed built for Bus Shelter at a cost of $250000.00
We could have bought a shed Locally cheaper
The Main Corner budget should be slashed by 50% as a priority
We should only do one job each finical year, and as we can afford it.
Government Grants won't go away, they will still be there
What we borrow we pay off, Then we borrow for the next project
I believe the projects should be done as listed
The new Land Fill Cell
The rail lands
The demolition of the old hospital
an under cover heated swimming pool
Other costings on the budget appear to be ok
I acknowledge that not all elected members are in favor of the proposed spending junket

zues about 8 years ago

Very positive benefits of living in Mount Gambier but I remind Council of the compounding impact of 6.9% rates increases over 10 years. Where is the detail of the Long Term Financial Plan approved in 2012? Long Range Plan only uses a LGPI of 2.5% each year for 10 years and is already out of date. The Local Government Price Index (LGPI) is 3.7%.
Go fathom .

Davido about 8 years ago

Enjoy the Main Corner, very glad to see the old buildings saved, 65 years of great memories.The sooner the Old Hospital is a grassy park with trees the better, and the same for the Rail Lands at least for the time being, or a dry land garden perhaps.
Craig Ferguson

mullawa about 8 years ago

Business Plan and Rates.
The services provided by the City of Mount Gambier are excellent. The maintenance of facilities and parklands is unsurpassed. Inevitably rates must rise and I do not begrudge the cost of the library or the Main Corner, both excellent facilities. I assume the critics have not availed themselves of these facilities.

I particularly support thr program for demolishing the Old Hospital as a priority; obviously for personal reasons, being a neighbour.

As for the railway lands, why not hand them back to the Government?
Alternatively ignore the rail easement and use the total site for develoment; trains are highly unlikely to return to Mount Gambier.

Jdkellas about 8 years ago

As a rate payer of many properties I am concerned with the rate increases. However if justified and I can see results I have no hesitation in accepting the rate increase and as shown the increase is just about the same each year. My property value hopefully increases in time and with the help of council we must make this town and surrounds a place that people want to move to and enjoy the country lifestyle. After travelling around Australia and looking at many country towns we need to lift the profile and amenities of the town. The old hospital is an absolute eyesore and must be removed. The railway land needs to be converted into a parking area with trees and shrubs etc. public amenities, maybe the bus terminal. Make the town a CMCA friendly town and allow Motorhomers and caravans a 24hr stopover. We dont need to spend a fortune but make the site a park friendly place. People will stay and spend a dollar.
We need to continue to spend money and the council has the vision and the knowledge to access funds from grants etc.
Unfortunately the people of Mount Gambier were not happy and are still not happy with the Main Corner. I include myself and therefore council must endeavor to keep to a budget. In business we must keep spending to make improvements and hence Council must continually spend to make the town a great place to live and enjoy. The town and surrounding district has everything and more to offer people whatever their hobbies or lifestyle. We are always happy to come home or back to Mount Gambier.


optimum about 8 years ago

Many, many Mt Gambier residents and visitors have called for something to be done about the old hospital site for many years. Council did a great job securing ownership of the hospital (no mean feat!) and now it's time to do something with it - hey and guess what? - it's going to cost money. Unfortunately, those of us who have pride in our city and want it to be a go ahead place (in the face of difficult economic times) instead of the decline being seen in other rural communities, will need to help pay for it. Re the vision of the plan (p.5) I'd like to see added:
6. A committment to Social Inclusion - with something explaining what this means

Mark Thompson about 8 years ago

The ratepayers of Mount Gambier need to pull this council up on spending, and quickly.
A quick look around the Mount shows lot's of empty houses and business premises. That means tenants are leaving town or businesses are closing down. Australia is heading for bad times now that the mining boom has slowed right down and we all need to pull our heads in. Banks and other lending institutions are still handing out money willy nilly to people who can't afford to pay the loans back.
Water and the other utilities keep going up and up putting many under financial strain.
It's OK to praise the so called Library, (really a community drop in centre) and the main corner, but neither will ever pay for themselves. The council needs to try and consolidate instead of spending more money. We need to sack this council and try to find and elect some practical and common sense people to look after Mount Gambier. The cycle paths go unused as cyclists still ride on the footpath. The Park and stride campaign is a waste of money. Stop pandering to minority groups and listen to the majority for once.

Angry ratepayer about 8 years ago

I believe that it is necessary to continue to develop Mount Gambier with a high standard of facilities, and whilst interest is as low as it is I agree with the debt and rate rise to enable this to happen. We badly need the indoor swimming pool as the current facilities do not provide adequate opening hours or adequate lanes. Apart from that, the indoor pool would attract visitors to Mount Gambier year round, and swimming is an important component of many people's health regime. I think that a good exercise would be to research what rates are being paid by comparable properties in comparable towns, maybe Warrnambool, to see what rates are paid in other cities, as it is my understanding that Mount Gambier's rates have been on the lower end. One of our problems is that our city is surrounded with DC of Grant ratepayers, many of whom work, school their children, use the sporting facilities etc etc in Mount Gambier so maybe the contribution made by DC of Grant to the City of Mount Gambier needs to be looked at - if I had my way, we would all be one council ! !

ICare about 8 years ago

Demolishing the old hospital is a priority. Paving footpaths is a complete waste of money when a coat of hotmix would do the job admirably. I do not believe that the rail land needs to be done yet, after all it has been in it's present state for many years now. If the government wish to give $1mil. towards this project then just use that money. I could do a hell of a lot with that site for $1mil. Council always seems to pay well over the going rate for any job they do.

Ert about 8 years ago

Council's draft Budget includes;
> Operating Expenditure $1,896,000 (including $591,000 depreciation)
> Operating Revenue $389,000 (mostly State Library funding)
> Capital Expenditure $168,000 (mostly bookstocks as a result of State grant funding)
Libraries in SA do not charge for services. Under the State/Local funding agreement this grant funding would be withdrawn if Libraries charge for regular services
i doubt whether any Library service in SA or Australia for that matter would cover everyday running or operating costs
Trust this provides the information you were seeking

Director Corporate & Community Services about 8 years ago

Cost of librarry appears excessive. What is the split between capital & running costs?
If the income does not cover everyday running costs the I believe there is major financial mismanagement & needs immediate attention.

Peter about 8 years ago

Lay off the rate rises, there always seems to be reason or project that council puts forward wether the public want it or not. Someone seems to have BIG ideas for this town but they don't have the money. Just settle down and do one thing at a time, these projects are not small. This is Mount Gambier not Adelaide, work with the money you have. But you will do what you want anyway.

commando about 8 years ago

Even though the Plan is very ambitious, each of the identified major projects are valued and importantly the overall budget is balanced and in accordance with the Financial Plan adopted last year.
Mount Gambier remains the best regional centre in SA particularly with improvements made in recent years but needs to stay positive and be seen to be moving forward.

Rooster about 8 years ago

Thank you for taking the time to make comment.
At the conclusion of the consultation period a report highlighting, in particular, the major themes arising out of the public consultation will be provided to Council for further review.
Again thank you for your interest.

Director Corporate & Community Services about 8 years ago

Start charging entrance fee for Main Corner Usewr Pays

Davido about 8 years ago

if everything gets done as planned it looks great good luck with it.

paul about 8 years ago