BAW BAW // NEW FEES for replacement sharps containers and other budget changes accidentally omitted from Baw Baw’s 2015/16 budget will be pushed again for next financial year.
First published in the 28 August 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. All dates relative to then.
A report accepted by councillors at their 26 August meeting noted that a number of new, modified and deleted fees and charges which were to be introduced in the new budget were left off budget documents.
While the changes were discussed with councillors and staff and recommendations were made to include them in the budget, they were omitted from the advertised draft budget and the final adopted budget.
Councillors unanimously accepted the report, as well as the referral of the forgotten fees for inclusion in the 2016/17 budget.
“This omission meant no public consultation [on the changes] occurred,” Mount Worth ward councillor Murray Cook said on accepting the report.
“The council has not done a backflip – [the fees will be included] next time, and will go out for public consultation as they should have done this year.”
The report stated the plan to introduce a charge for an empty sharps container “has caused concern in the community, particularly for those residents with a chronic illness requiring this service.”
Playing with semantics, the report also stated “at no time was the council considering a charge for the disposal of full sharps containers.”
The council has started a review of its processes following the omissions with a goal of future budgets being released with all planned changes being included.
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