AFTER almost nine months of work, the City of Joondalup approved its 2015-16 budget at Tuesday’s meeting.
As well as six workshops for councillors, ratepayer and residents associations were invited to a pre-budget breakfast to have their input.
Mayor Troy Pickard said he knew of only one other local government in Australia that gave community organisations such opportunity to help shape the budget.
Corporate services director Mike Tidy said the 2015-16 budget was “challenging and strongly influenced by economic uncertainty and low growth prospects” but he believed it delivered on the community’s expectations.
It includes an operating expenditure of $150 million and capital expenditure of $49 million.
Of the $49 million, $39.7 million is proposed for roads, reserves and parks, $7.2 million on capital projects and $2.1 million on vehicle and plant replacement.
The biggest component of the $150 million is employee costs at 40 per cent ($59.9 million), which is reduced from 42 per cent last year, while materials and contracts make up 35 per cent ($53 million) including $19.3 million for refuse and waste services.
The remaining is made up of utilities ($6.3 million), depreciation ($27.1 million), insurance ($1.6 million) and other expenses ($2.2 million).
The budget also has an operating revenue of $141 million with the biggest source coming from rates at $91.9 million (65 per cent).
Fees and charges account for $39.6 million (28 per cent), of which $24.4 million comes from refuse charges, and grants and subsidies account for $4.2 million (3 per cent).
“Grant opportunities from many sources in federal and state government agencies are shrinking and getting more limited,” Mr Tidy said.
Interest earnings at $3.5 million is more than $500,000 less than was budgeted last year, while contributions, reimbursements and donations account for $900,000, which has also been reduced with the City no longer getting an income from recyclables.
Budget highlights include funding towards the soon-to-be-completed Reid Promenade multi-storey carpark, a new community sporting facility at Bramston Park in Burns Beach, upgrades at Arena Joondalup, more planning on a hockey facility at Warwick Open Space, refurbishment of Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club, expansion of Warwick Stadium and advancing the Ocean Reef marina and Joondalup performing arts facility projects.
Funding will also be allocated to initiate the Leafy City Program to create tree-lined streets in the City’s suburbs.
There will be irrigation projects at reserves including Chelsea Park, Kingsley and Water Tower Park, Joondalup, a landscape upgrade at James Cook Reserve, Hillarys, and new playground equipment at Otago (Craigie), Windermere (Joondalup), Whitfords West (Hillarys), Shepherds Bush (Kingsley), Hawker (Warwick), Gunida (Mullaloo), Larkspur (Heathridge) and Albacore (Sorrento) parks and Calectasia kindergarten (Greenwood).
Mr Pickard said the budget was financially responsible and balanced the need to achieve the vision for Joondalup while providing services and facilities the City’s 167,000 residents expected and needed.
“The budget has been influenced by a number of external factors including the reduction and freezing of State and Federal Government grants and a decline on the City’s return on investments due to record low interest rates,” he said.
City of Joondalup budget highlights
– $2 million to complete the Reid Promenade multi-storey carpark.
– $2.7 million for a new community sporting facility at Bramston Park, Burns Beach.
– $2.25 million towards facility upgrades at Arena Joondalup.
– $900,000 to continue the hockey facility development at Warwick Open Space.
– $2.2 million for a new car park at the Marmion foreshore.
– $600,000 for jetties at Ocean Reef Boat Harbour
– $1.7 million to refurbish the Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club (City’s net contribution is $675,000).
– $1.6 million for the redevelopment of Warwick Stadium.
– $3.6 million to advance the Ocean Reef marina, Joondalup performing arts facility and other projects.
– $1.2 million for streetscape and landscaping works on roads and to initiate the Leafy City Program.
– $4.8 million in community facility upgrades.
– $3.2 million for parks and playground equipment.
– $19.9 million for road construction, drainage, streetlight works and other infrastructure including:
– Blackspot projects at Oceanside Promenade, Joondalup Drive and Shenton Avenue.
– Dualling of Ocean Reef Road from Marmion Avenue to Oceanside Promenade and Whitfords Avenue from Northshore Drive to Belrose Entrance.
– Joondalup city centre and park lighting.
– New paths and bicycle parking facilities.
– Parking facilities.