City Of Busselton Draft Rates Levy 2019-2020

Published on 02 July 2019

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City of Busselton Council will consider the introduction of a 3.95% rate increase when they consider the 2019/2020 budget at the end of next month. This is 0.3% lower than the figure earmarked in the City’s Long-term Financial Plan - a saving which has been achieved through prudent financial management.

A significant percentage of this anticipated rise can be directly attributed to costs associated with asset management, noting that over the past 5 – 7 years the City has invested significantly into the City’s road network, developing new community assets and upgrading existing assets.

Acting Mayor Cr John McCallum said that unlike metropolitan councils (and ratepayers) that benefit from community facilities provided by the State Government, regional councils like the City of Busselton need to contribute significantly more of their own funds to these types of community assets and are generally responsible for their ongoing maintenance.

“Metropolitan ratepayers enjoy facilities such as the Optus stadium, the Joondalup Arena, the Heath Ledger Theatre – all funded by the State Government. In addition, many of the major arterial roads in the metropolitan area are also maintained by the State Government.  While we certainly benefit from State and Federal funding grants for which we are grateful, we simply don’t have the luxury of major community assets being built, run and maintained by the State Government. We do however, have a fast growing population and Council recognises the need to invest in community assets that will meet current and future needs and continue to stimulate job growth.”

The expected 3.95% rate increase in the 2019/2020 draft budget will see an additional 0.5% increase in funding into footpaths and cycle-ways; an additional 0.5% increase in funding toward road upgrades across the municipality, an additional 0.4% increase in funding toward the maintenance of community owned buildings and halls and an additional 0.3% increase in financing and borrowing costs. The City will also take ownership of new assets (parks, drainage and roads etc.) associated with new subdivision developments and a 0.3% increase has been factored into the rate rise to facilitate the maintenance of these new ‘donated’ assets. A 0.15% increase has been factored in to cover general growth and a further 1.8% increase to cover general Local Government costs (e.g. power and water). This increase is in line with the WA Local Government Cost Index.

Cr McCallum said this year’s draft budget has a strong focus on consolidation and asset management. “While it is yet to be adopted, the draft budget is prudent.  We’re investing significantly in the Rural Road program to ensure our country roads are safe and efficient, as well as enhancing the Dunsborough CBD; and we’re strongly focused on meeting the recreational needs of our growing population, with the Lois Hannay Pavilion, Netball Courts and Lou Weston Oval upgrades scheduled to commence in the new financial year ($1.7 million).  We’re also proud to be investing in seniors with an expansion of the Busselton Senior Citizens Centre scheduled for the new financial year ($1.2 million).”  

Key Goal Area 4 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2017): An economy that is diverse, robust, and prosperous.

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