City budget balances delivering on community priorities and financial responsibility
02 Jul 2018
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the budget addresses priorities identified in the annual Community Survey and Strategic Community Plan.
“Through the annual community survey, respondents identified improving roads, footpaths, open spaces and foreshore and beach amenity as priorities,” Cr Long said.
“With more people choosing to live and work within the City, we recognise these grassroots projects and services are important to achieving our vision to become Australia’s most liveable regional city.”
Discovering ways to become more efficient
Council has implemented a range of energy-saving measures as part of the City’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan.
“The City is introducing best practice energy efficiency measures and investing in renewable energy sources to help make operational costs more affordable and environmentally sustainable,” Cr Long said.
Energy efficiency actions include investigating new waste management technologies, continuing the solar path lighting program, extending the effluent reuse scheme and upgrading irrigation and reticulation management systems.
“As well as identifying ways to reduce our operating costs, Council continues to generate income from alternative revenue sources to fund City projects in an effort to reduce reliance on income generated by rates,” Cr Long said.
The Quarter HQ investment continues to generate higher financial returns than bank term deposits, which has helped Council limit rates revenue to less than one third of this budget.
“With the majority of Council’s operating income coming from sources other than rates, the 2018/19 Budget will ensure the immediate term needs of current residents are met while providing enhanced services and infrastructure developments to meet future requirements.”
Your Council listens to your feedback
Council proposed a 2% predominant rates increase but in response to community feedback has resolved to ease pressure on residential ratepayers by restricting the increase to a modest 1%.
“We have opted for the minimum increase which will enable us to continue to deliver community infrastructure and services while providing financial relief to ratepayers,” Cr Long said.
“Council have been able to keep rates income consistent, while at the same time delivering more and enhanced services to the community.”
Balancing community needs with financial sustainability
This financial year, Council will deliver the $16 million Wickham Community Hub, $1.5 million Welcome Park, and significant city center landscaping initiatives.
The 2018-19 budget boasts a suite of improvements to community infrastructure, services and facilities the City offers the community.
Other major projects the 2018-19 budget will deliver include:
- $5.6 million to progress the Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment project
- $3.7 million to upgrade the capability of the 7 Mile Waste facility enabling Council to process a higher grate of commercial product and generate additional income
- $2.4 million to upgrade Mooligunn Road in the Light Industrial Area
- $1.3 million for road reseal and gravel re-sheeting program
- $900,000 to continue to expand footpath and cycleway networks
- $300,000 for landscaping at the DeWitt and Dampier Road intersection
- $200,000 footpath lighting program
The future is bright
Cr Long said Council remains committed to supporting economic development and diversification projects, tourism opportunities and showcasing our region.
“We have been proactive in pursuing conferences and business opportunities like the Developing Northern Australia Conference, Performing Arts Connections Australia Conference and other national networking events, which will showcase our region and help put the Pilbara on the map with high-profile policymakers and industry leaders.
“Council will continue to support new initiatives and economic diversification projects such as the Sahara Forest project, Pilbara Rock Oyster trail and EcoHub.
“A renewed sense of positivity is in the air, with the Western Australian economy growing, business investment picking up and exports expected to grow as resource sector projects ramp up.
“Council looks forward to another productive year.”
The 2018-19 City of Karratha Budget was adopted by Council on Friday 29 June. The budget can be viewed in full at http://karratha.wa.gov.au/budget