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Each year, the Shire of Ashburton is required to prepare and publish a budget for the following financial year. The budget lists all income it will receive and all expenditure that will be required to undertake the works and services it provides.

The budget expenditure is made up of two main areas - operating expenditure (the money required to operate and maintain works and services, such as wages and maintenance) and capital expenditure (the money required to make capital improvements to roads, facilities and equipment).