Council budget on public display
Published on 24 May 2023
Residents are invited to have a say on Council's finances with the draft Budget for the 2023/24 financial year now on public display for 28 days.
Council is aiming to break even in the 2023/24 financial year, and is eyeing a return to surplus in the 2024/25 financial year.
Council's finances have been impacted by a series of factors such as inflation, increased costs for goods and services, and a spike in the Emergency Services Levy.
As increases in operational costs will be far larger than income from rates increases, meaning Council will again be forced to focus on finding internal efficiencies and more cost-effective methods of service delivery.
Council will continue on with existing major projects including the new library, airport upgrades, and O'Neil Sporting Precinct upgrade, and will also begin the first stage ($4 million) of a much-needed overhaul of its Warnock Street depot.
As always, roads will be a major focus of the budget with $3.6 million earmarked for road reconstruction, resealing, and repairs, with a further $700,000 budgeted for new footpaths and repairs.
Other major projects include new changerooms for Alma and Norm Fox ovals ($900,000 total), new lights for the Memorial Oval ($540,000), technical designs for a second stage of upgrades at Patton Park ($207,000), and a separate small dog park at Queen Elizabeth Park ($136,000).
Council will also spend $1.4 million replacing its ageing fleet and heavy plant including a new street sweeper, $233,000 on wetlands improvements, and $90,000 has been set aside to investigate redevelopment options for the troubled 'roundhouse' toilets on the corner of on the corner of Blende and Chloride Streets.
Mayor Tom Kennedy invited all interested locals to submit their thoughts on the budget.
"We're in a tight situation financially like all other organisations in the city, but we feel we've done our best to highlight projects and issues of importance to the community," he said.
"However the budget is still in its draft form, so if anyone has any suggestions or feedback we'd be more than happy to receive it."
The budget along with the updated draft Long Term Financial Plan can be found in the business paper of the May Extraordinary Council Meeting and submissions regarding either document can be lodged here.