City budget strikes balance between enhancing services and planning for the future

Improving the standard of services available in the community, delivering major infrastructure projects and planning for the future are the focal points of the 2017-18 City of Karratha budget.

The budget strikes a balance between enhancing local services and amenity for the community and facilitating economic growth and development across the City.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the budget addresses priorities identified in the annual Community Survey and Strategic Community Plan.

“We have put together a budget that addresses priorities that the community have identified in the strategic planning process and also through the annual community survey,” Cr Long said.

“Key items that Council will focus on in the year ahead include improving the standard of grass roots services like the maintenance of recreational facilities, roads and footpaths, waste management and parks and gardens."

"We will also concentrate one delivering important community infrastructure projects like the Red Earth Arts Precinct and fostering tourism and economic development opportunities across the City.”

 

Alternative revenue streams reduce reliance on rates

A proactive approach to pursuing alternative revenue sources to fund City projects has meant income generated by rates comprises only 25% of 2017-18 budget.

Other sources of income include fees and charges collected at Council facilities like Karratha Leisureplex, waste transfer station and Airport as well as grants received from the State and Federal Government and corporate partners.

Revenue generated from investments like The Quarter and the continued delivery of operational efficiency measures such as reviewing the level of sourcing for services and disposal of under-utilised fleet and plant, further reduces Council’s reliance on rates.

“As an organisation, we are continually looking for ways to operate more efficiently, maximise our savings and improve outcomes for the ratepayer,” Cr Long said.

“Council investments like the Quarter have the ability to generate significantly higher financial returns than what can be achieved through bank term deposits, providing a sustainable long-term revenue source for Council and reducing our reliance on generating income from rates.”

“The Quarter currently generates approximately double what Council previously earned from term deposits and recent new tenants ensure this return will continue to increase. Council has adopted a rating model which will see a modest increase of 1 per cent in 2017-18, substantially lower than both the 2.1 per cent Australian CPI and the 3.35 per cent identified in the Long Term Financial Plan.

“We know a lot of people and businesses are still doing it tough so this year we have opted for the minimum increase which would still allow Council to deliver important community infrastructure and services,” Cr Long said.

“For people paying rates by installment we have dropped the interested rate by 1 per cent from 5.5 to 4.5 percent, which will hopefully provide further relief,” he added.

 

Budget expenditure addressing community priorities right across the City  

Sound financial management has ensured funds allocated to the financial year ahead make way for new initiatives, provide for enhanced maintenance programs and services and ensure current projects remain on track for completion.

Over the 2017-18 financial year Council will deliver a suite of key infrastructure projects and services improvements identified in the strategic community planning process and also through the annual community survey.

In 2017-18 Council will:

> Complete construction of the $55 million Red Earth Arts Precinct which incorporates an indoor theatre, library, rooftop cinema, amphitheater and gallery spaces

> Commence construction of the $16 million Wickham Community Hub and water playground creating a centralized hub for community services and recreation

> Undertake $1.3 million of much needed upgrades to the Roebourne Pool and Aquatic Centre including refurbishing the pool surface and paved areas

> Resurface the Bulgarra Tennis Courts creating a dual purpose playing surface for hockey

> Invest $700,000 to construction additional footpath along Millstream Road

> Construct a roundabout at the intersection of Sharpe Avenue and Welcome Road to improve traffic flow in and around the City Centre

> Invest more than $1 million on road reseals and maintenance across the City

> Progress detailed design for a sealed road to Conzinc Bay on the Burrup Peninsular

> Undertake the planned $700,000 gym expansion at the Karratha Leisureplex providing additional space for functional training

> Continue to deliver jam packed calendar of events and festivals including the Cossack Art Awards and Red Earth Arts Festival as well as support and attract other major events to the region

> Progress foreshore enhancement projects across the City including

  • construction of an $800,000 viewing platform in Point Samson
  • a $500,000 redevelopment of the Point Samson Community Hall car park to improve assess and erosions issues
  • $100,000 of dune revegetation works and fencing at Wickham Boat Beach
  • detailed design for the $11.7 million redevelopment of Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval
  • a $250,000 upgrade of facilities at Hearson Cove including barbecues, toilet block and shaded areas

> Invest $670,000 for additional footpath lighting in Karratha, Wickham, Point Samson and Roebourne

> Continue to pursue international, domestic and regional flight options from Karratha Airport

> Invest $120,000 on sealing and lighting Dreamer’s Hill in Karratha to improve conditions for stallholders and customers

> Continue to advocate for the sealing of Tom Price to Karratha Road improving access and the potential

> Further investigate the feasibility of investing in the Homemaker Centre to improve retail offerings for the community

> Continue to support local businesses with more than $150,000 in grants and funding

> Continue to facilitate the development of tourism product including tours, charters, facilities and packages and improving our town entry statements

> Further investigate the feasibility of a hotel development in Karratha to expand accommodation options for visitors

> Contribute nearly $400,000 to support the delivery of services at the Karratha Visitors Centre

> Provide additional support the development of new industry such as solar and oyster farming

“Council remains committed to providing high quality community infrastructure and services for the community and is looking forward to another productive year in the City of Karratha.” 

The 2017/2018 City of Karratha Budget was adopted by Council on Friday 30 June. The budget in full can viewed at www.karratha.wa.gov.au