Renewal at budget’s core: Mayor

The City has put aside almost $38.5 million for capital works in the city in the next financial year, with operating costs pushing the total budget expenditure to more than $106.3 million.

The capital works section has focused on several areas, including more than $9 million to infrastructure buildings such as the Fremantle Leisure Centre, Fremantle Markets conservation works and $1 million for the proposed renewal of the warders cottages.

It has also allocated more than $2 million for freehold land and buildings such as a new men’s shed at Hilton Reserve and upgrades to the Evan Davies and Union Stores buildings.

The development of the Esplanade Reserve Youth Plaza has received $1.6 million out of a $4 million allocation towards parks and reserves.

During the meeting last Wednesday, Cr Sam Wainwright praised the attention paid to projects that needed funding.

‘I am proud of the attention drawn to other sectors needing infrastructure, such as the leisure centre, where we have installed disability access into the two pools,’ he said.

‘We’ve gone from the city with the least accessible leisure centre to the best, and this is significant spending on recreation access for the elderly and disabled.’

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the council was keen to minimise the rate increase while still providing for the city’s future in its first budget to crack the $100 million mark.

‘Council has worked hard to continue to deliver strong economic and community outcomes in line with its strategic planning while ensuring the burden on ratepayers is minimised, hence one of the lowest rate rises in the metro area,’ he said.

‘In fact you could say that renewal is at its core.’

The budget is expected to have a surplus of $100,000 at the end of the financial year.