The transformation of Newcastle into a smart, liveable and sustainable city continues as a major theme in City of Newcastle's draft budget for the 2018/19 financial year, which includes a record $100 million for continued capital works and an anticipated year-end surplus of $6.5 million.
Council has combined the delivery program and operational plan into one document -- known as Our Budget -- that sets out Council's objectives for the next four years and outlines its planned actions and projects for the 2018/19 financial year.
The draft 'Our Budget' document along with the draft Fees and Charges Register for 2018/19 will be placed on public exhibition from Thursday 3 May to Wednesday 30 May.
Our Budget proposes a works program for 2018/19 that strikes a balance between essential asset renewal and new and upgraded services to the community, including more than $23.5 million on roads and footpaths, $13 million to renew buildings, structures and places and $8.2 million to implement our Smart City Strategy.
"We forecast to again deliver an operational surplus while investing a record $100 million in infrastructure projects," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.
"Under the Council that I lead, we are committed to delivering our vision for the City through sound financial management while protecting and improving services.
The draft Community Strategic Plan was also endorsed by Council to be placed on public exhibition.
Highlights of the 2018/19 budget include:
- $23.5 million on our roads including a $9 million civil works program to upgrade local bridges
- $13 million of works renewing our buildings, structures and places including $5 million for both our parks and cultural facilities
- $8.2 million on Newcastle's Smart City Program
- $8.1 million on renewing the existing storm water network
- $7.9 million on a solar farm to be built at the Summerhill Waste Centre
- $2.6 million on increasing cycling links around the city
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the draft budget includes more than $8 million towards our Smart Cities program.
"The next 12 months is going to be an exciting period when people start to see what it means to be a smart city. Extensive sensor networks, smart poles, public WiFi, electric vehicle charging stations and E-bicycle infrastructure are all set to become a reality over the 2018/19 financial year."
"Additionally, a further $2 million will also be invested in lifting the Tyrrell Street Bridge at Wallsend, the first of three bridges that will be raised after supporting columns are removed, as the first stage of a plan to address flooding that regularly affects the Wallsend CBD.
Newcastle City Council CEO Jeremy Bath said this budget is about setting up our City for the future.
"It will include $7.5 million towards the cost relocating Council to Newcastle West, consolidating 425 staff spread across four sites into one building. Planning on the layout of the building is now underway with consideration to how we ensure Council's new headquarters is also available to ratepayers and community groups.
"A decision on Council's Round House and Fredrick Ash Buildings is likely to be made over the coming months."
To view the documents on public exhibition and make a submission, go to newcastle.nsw.gov.au/YourSay
Hard copies may be viewed at the City Administration Centre, Newcastle Region Library, Laman Street, Newcastle, and all other Newcastle branch libraries.