Capital works focus drives record investment

19 Aug 2020

A record capital works program has seen more than $93.7 million invested in projects across the Newcastle local government area (LGA) in the past 12 months, according to preliminary figures.

Mid-year additions to the works program saw the City’s expenditure increase by around 16 per cent on the adopted capital works budget for last year, while also surpassing the previous year’s record investment by more than $2.1 million.

Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the capital works spend has risen by almost 200 per cent during the past decade, demonstrating the City’s commitment to supporting our growing population with key infrastructure renewal and revitalisation projects.

“Newcastle’s population has grown substantially during the past decade and we have responded to that growth with our own significantly increased investment in infrastructure projects,” Cr Clausen said.

“This program of works will continue to enhance our city now and into the future, ensuring Newcastle remains a wonderful place in which to live, work and visit.”

Key projects delivered during the past 12 months have included the $3.3 million replacement of the Tyrrell Street bridge to help address flooding in Wallsend, the next stage of rehabilitation works at Ironbark Creek and the replacement of the Brickworks Park and Carrington Reserve playgrounds, as well as the $3 million renewal of the Beresfield Local Centre.

Completing the five-megawatt solar farm at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre has also proved to be a huge success, generating almost twice the revenue it was expected to make annually in just its first six months of operation.

Cr Clausen said the record capital works program was testament to the hard work and commitment of the City’s employees.

“Delivering these projects has required an immense effort from everyone involved and is an achievement to be celebrated, especially when you consider the additional challenges we have all faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Our investment will hit new heights this year as we bring forward further capital projects to provide a stimulus to our recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19.”

Cr Clausen said prudent financial management has given the City the capacity to fund a record $116 million COVID-19 stimulus budget from its existing reserves, without the need for borrowing.

“Governments at all levels have a responsibility to accelerate investment to help keep people employed and uplift economic activity during major economic downturns,” Cr Clausen said.

“Our record $116 million local infrastructure works program forms the centrepiece of our efforts to stimulate the local economy in the wake of the unprecedented effects of COVID-19.

“It is projected to create up to 700 local jobs and increase total economic output in our local government area by up to $275 million during the next 12 months.”