Mayor defends

He said public approval of Nedlands 2023 sent a clear message that residents were prepared to accept a rate rise as long as the money was used to improve deteriorating assets, rejuvenate old buildings and maintain roads.

He identified three upcoming renovation projects as the most important ” recreational facilities at College Park and Melvista Oval (not updated since the 1950s), Hollywood Bowling Club and Allen Park in Swanbourne.

‘Nedlands also has a large stock of older buildings that are in dire need of upgrading, which will be achieved through the 10-year infrastructure plan,’ Mr Hipkins said.

Capital works planned for this financial year include $1.135 million on completing five road black spots, $1.732 million renewing 3.2km of residential and main roads (including Underwood Avenue) and about $189,000 on building and improving pathways.

Mr Hipkins said he was personally pleased to see the public artworks allowance increased from $30,000 in 2012-13 to $40,000.

While projects in the neighbouring City of Subiaco 2013-14 budget ranged from community events to road safety strategies, chief executive Stephen Tindale said its priority was improving infrastructure.

To fund the City’s activities, council approved a rate rise of 6.2 per cent.

‘Increased funds have been allocated to drainage improvements in the Nicholson Road area and road renewal improvements including streetscape and lighting upgrades,’ he said.

More than $2 million will go towards park renewal and recourses.

With $4.5 million allocated to the underground power program, Mayor Heather Henderson said she was looking forward to seeing underground power completed by the end of 2013.

‘Unlike other councils, we have never charged individual households for underground power ” the City has always done it under its umbrella of 1 per cent increase on the rate,’ Mrs Henderson said.

‘We wanted to ensure it was fully set up before anything changed with upcoming reform.’