A focus on delivering enhanced community facilities, services and infrastructure developments to cater for future growth are the key components of the City of Karratha’s 2019/20 budget.
Adopted by Council on Friday, the budget provides a balanced approach to spending with a commitment to meet community expectations regarding the provision of high standard facilities, services and amenity.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the budget reflects Council’s continued efforts to improve efficiency while aligning with key priorities identified in Council’s Strategic Community Plan.
“Despite an anticipated rise in revenue requirements to maintain new facilities and a significant increase in operating expenditure due to increasing electricity, water and insurance charges, Council has worked hard to deliver value for money,” Cr Long said.
Increasing community facilities
“This budget prioritises maintaining and improving a growing number of community facilities,” Cr Long said.
“These include the Red Earth Arts Precinct, Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre, Wickham Community Hub, Balyarra Parkway, Welcome Park, Andover Park, Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment and Johns Creek Boat Ramp.
“Other infrastructure projects catered for in this budget include a preliminary design and geotechnical work for the Dampier Marina and the completion of upgrades to Mooligunn Road in the Karratha Industrial Estate.
“This budget includes the expansion of local road and footpath networks, continued road reseal and playground renewal programs, and a community event to celebrate Karratha’s 50th birthday.
“We have also increased the delivery of services that keep our environment clean and tidy, by increasing road, car park, footpath and pavement sweeping and introducing more litter picking services and pressure cleaning of public areas.”
Cr Long reaffirmed Council’s commitment to improving efficiency within the organisation.
“Council has introduced a range of efficiency measures in recent years and this budget continues those efforts,” he said.
Actions include expanding the solar path lighting program, completing the solar power supply system at the Operations Depot, implementing energy and water saving strategies, and bringing the provision of visitor and tourism services in-house.
Karratha is calling
Cr Long said Council is committed to attracting a growing number of high profile conferences to the Red Earth Arts Precinct over the next financial year.
“Council is actively pursuing more high profile conferences, with the Developing Northern Australia Conference, WA Regional Tourism Conference and Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development Meeting of Mining Regions and Cities set to boost the local economy and showcase the investment potential, tourist appeal and lifestyle on offer over the next year,” Cr Long said.
“We remain committed to supporting innovative economic development and diversification initiatives and increasing exposure of our tourism industry to a national audience through our Karratha is calling place-branding campaign.”
Financial responsibility and sustainability
Cr Long said the majority of Council’s operating revenue was generated from sources other than rates, which had enabled Council to limit the rates rise to a modest two per cent.
“This year was the fourth consecutive year the City has introduced a rates increase lower than the Australian CPI and the figure identified in Council’s Long Term Financial Plan,” Cr Long said.
“Returns from alternative, sustainable income streams, such as The Quarter HQ investment, Class 3 landfill cells at the 7 Mile Waste Facility and new helicopter hanger at Karratha Airport will ensure Council can keep rates income consistent, representing less than one-third of this budget.
“Council looks forward to a productive year ahead as we progress our vision to become Australia’s most liveable regional city.”
2019/20 budget highlights include:
Dampier Palms and Hampton Oval redevelopment $11.1m
Andover Park redevelopment $1.9m
Footpath network expansion $1.4m
Welcome Park $1.3m
Road reseal program $1m
Mooligunn Road reconstruction $1m
John’s Creek Boat Ramp $1m
The 2019-20 City of Karratha budget was adopted by Council on Friday, June 28. The budget can be viewed at http://karratha.wa.gov.au/budget