Council budget open for public comment

10 May 2017

City of Newcastle will continue the city's infrastructure renewal and revitalisation while also achieving a sustainable budget for the next financial year.

The 2017/18 delivery program and operational plan, currently on public exhibition, features a record $90 million program of projects focussed mainly on addressing the city's infrastructure backlog and an operating surplus of $5.1 million for 2017/18.

This surplus, together with reserves generated in previous years, will help council fund its ambitious infrastructure program.

Council aims to achieve a sustainable infrastructure backlog by 2022 after recent progress reducing it from $117 million in 2011 to $99 million in 2016.

"City of Newcastle is busy renewing and revitalising the city as it transitions from a great regional city to an emerging global city," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"We are committed to restoring trust, collaborative leadership and delivering our vision through sound financial management while protecting and improving services for rate payers.

"We are preserving the city’s heritage and shaping a bright, new future while cultivating employment opportunities through our smart city vision and boosting the local and regional economy through large events."

Council's $90 million works program will include city-wide asset renewal, new assets, upgrades and developments on council's priority projects: city centre and coastal revitalisation, cycle ways and improvements at Blackbutt.

"In the 2017/18 operational plan we remain committed to consolidating council's well-earned status as a financially sustainable local government body," Councillor Nelmes continued.

"Our staff are focused on delivering better facilities and services for rate payers in a fiscally responsible manner in line with staffing capacity and our long-term financial plan."

Council has also prioritised upgrades in the city’s western suburbs through flood-mitigation improvements in Wallsend and road and public space improvements there and across other suburbs.

Local and neighbourhood centres are also up for renewal through a widespread public domain improvement program that will include better footpaths, street furniture, trees, cycleway links and traffic-calming measures.

Highlights of the 2017/18 budget include:

  • $18.8 million of works renewing our buildings, structures and places including $6.7 million for parks and sporting facilities
  • $19.6 million on renewing roads including a $9 million civil works program to upgrade infrastructure in Newcastle East
  • $10.7 million on renewing the existing storm water network
  • $15.0 million on upgrading existing assets and creating new ones
  • $10.7 million on non-infrastructure projects
  • $4.4 million revitalising the coast
  • $2.4 million on increasing cycling links around the city

The Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Fees and Charges Register for 2017/18 are on public exhibition until Monday 29 May at the City of Newcastle Customer Enquiry Centre and at all Newcastle branch libraries and online.