City of Swan rates to rise 3.25% as council adopts new budget

City of Swan rates to rise 3.25% as council adopts new budget

CITY of Swan council adopted its 2016-17 budget on Wednesday night, with an average rate increase of 3.25 per cent.

Mayor Mick Wainwright said he was confident the budget delivered on projects and services important to the community while being mindful of current economic fluctuations.

“Our rapid population growth, the diversity of our residents and the slowing economic climate present great challenges when setting a budget,” he said.

“The City has focussed on diversifying its income streams, but rates remain an important part of the City’s annual budget.

“This revenue ensures that we can deliver services and infrastructure to the community, including the building and maintenance of facilities like libraries and sporting facilities in our rapidly growing suburbs, while also looking after established suburbs through projects such as road upgrades and refurbishment of existing facilities.”

With a growing population, new and upgraded facilities were required.

“We have budgeted $104.4 million for capital works projects in 2016-17,” Cr Wainwright said.

“This includes a $7 million investment in the Pickett Park Community centre and almost $4 million for a community centre in Caversham.

“Almost $3 million is allocated to the Midland Youth Services Hub, while $1.6 million has been budgeted for the Paradise Quays aged care project in Ballajura.

“We are also spending $1 million on a waste transfer station in Bullsbrook and $1 million on the North Swan Park Pavilion.

“More than $31 million will be spent on major road projects, with $9.4 million on infrastructure in the Hazelmere Industrial Area and a further $5.1 million on the Gnangara Road upgrade.”

Increased revenue had been required to fund the infrastructure and the “sensible” budget included an average rate increase of 3.25 per cent, with no increase to minimum rates for the second consecutive year.

“Each year we consider the economic conditions, the needs of our community and our revenue streams before setting rates,” he said.

The budget at a glance

– Recreation and culture – $51.7 million to manage community centres, public libraries, cultural events, public art maintenance and leisure centres.

– Transport – $37 million for maintenance of roads and associated infrastructure, bus shelters and verge and parking conditions.

– Community amenities – $25.1 million for rubbish collection, disposal of waste, recycling and stormwater drainage, statutory and strategic planning and other community amenities.

– Education and welfare – $9.3 million for community development programs for increasing and aging population.

– Economic services – $6 million to regulate and provide business and tourism services such as the Swan Valley Visitor Centre, tourist information bays and building control.

– Law, order and public safety – $6 million for fire prevention, emergency services, animal control and supervision of by-laws.