New budget adopted

Property rates are set to increase overall by 5.24 per cent this financial year after Latrobe City Council adopted its 2013/14 budget on Monday night.

The rise is made up of a 4.5 per cent general rate increase, plus charges for waste services and the State Government’s landfill levy.

Council will spend $41 million on capital works, a $13 million increase on the previous year. Major projects include installing energy efficient lights in streets and public buildings, contributing $2 million to the Moe Railway Revitalisation Project, upgrades to the Morwell Town Common, drainage at the Traralgon City soccer pitch and $700,000 for the Churchill Town Centre Plan.

Farmers will receive a 25 per cent discount on their rates.

Council seeks university answers

Latrobe City Council will seek a meeting with Monash University Chancellor Alan Finkel to discuss further concerns about the Gippsland campus merger with the University of Ballarat.

On Monday night council voted to raise questions with Chancellor Finkel about the 2 July announcement that Vice Chancellor Professor Ed Byrne will leave Australia to accept an appointment as principal and president of King’s College in London.

It will seek clarification of a statement by the University of Ballarat that the new Federation University of Australia would be headquartered in Ballarat and “would receive all assets associated with the Monash Gippsland campus”.