RATES are increasing by the lowest amount in 12 years after Wanneroo council endorsed its 2017-18 budget at last night’s meeting.
Overall rates will rise by 3.6 per cent while residential rates for City of Wanneroo residents will go up 2.45 per cent to meet a budget deficit of about $152 million.
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the City recognised the impact of the current economic climate on residents and knew there were many “doing it tough”.
“The main priority was to keep rates as low as we possibly can so we ensure it’s manageable for our community,” she said.
Mrs Roberts said council was also focused on delivering social infrastructure such as roads and sporting facilities.
The City will spend $70.4 million on its capital works program, with the Wanneroo Civic Centre extension again receiving the largest allocation of $10 million, while sporting facilities will be boosted with $17.4 million spent on projects across the City.
Kingsway Regional Sporting Complex is another big winner, gaining $4 million for facility improvements and traffic management, including $2.1 million for Olympic Kingsway Sports Club’s clubrooms and $700,000 to build facilities for Kingsway Little Athletics Centre.
There is $2.8 million set aside for floodlighting and construction of change rooms at Grandis Park in Banksia Grove and $600,000 for a skate park at the same site.
Of the $9.3 million being spent on road works, $2.3 million will be used to create a dual carriageway on Mirrabooka Avenue from Hepburn Avenue to Gnangara Road.
The program also provides $4.6 million for creating and upgrading community buildings and $3.7 million for coastal foreshore management.
Councillor Domenic Zappa described it as a “balanced budget” and said he was pleased to see funding for upgrades to the Hudson Park clubrooms, design works on the proposed southern suburbs library and to create the second stage of the Kingsway dog park.
Cr Dianne Guise said they were a “growth council” and noted Central Ward projects including facilities for Wanneroo Sports and Social Club, floodlighting at Wanneroo skate park and upgraded change rooms at Wanneroo Aquamotion.
Coastal protection works, new amenities at Gumblossom Community Centre in Quinns Rocks and street landscaping on Marmion Avenue in Butler caught the attention of Cr Linda Aitken, who said the budget provided a “win-win outcome” for residents.
Mrs Roberts said the small rates increase was despite the City’s rapid population growth.
“A key focus of our budget deliberations has been on more efficient service delivery and sustainable solutions to effectively manage ongoing costs,” she said.
“This budget is aimed at delivering a distinctive, prosperous, progressive and diverse City with self-sufficiency in employment, in addition to being inclusive and inter-connected with activated places to live, work and play.”