Council hands down a balanced budget that supports economic diversification, jobs growth and major capital projects, while continuing to meet the State Government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks.
- First balanced operating budget, surpluses for all forward estimates.
- No increase in rates (in real terms)
- Future Fund will yield a $1m dividend – up from $800,000
- No new General Fund borrowings
- $570,287 of debt retired
New Operational Initiatives
- New Sustainability Team
- New Integrated Planning and Reporting Unit
- $106,000 extra for rural roads maintenance
- $100,000 a year for ‘Graffiti buster’ resource
- $50,000 a year for improving the Shire’s tourism product
- New capital initiatives
- $1 million for Muswellbrook CBD Stage 6.
- $700,000 for the first stage of Denman Village Centre Concept Master Plan.
- $710,000 allocation for the Olympic Park Masterplan and construction of a new car park.
- Road heavy patching program from $150,000 to $480,500.
- $360,000 for Stage 2 energy efficiency program.
- $250,000 for major landcare projects within the Shire and additional resources to monitor mine land rehabilitation outcomes in partnership with the State Government.
- $200,000 for heritage works at Loxton House and Weidmann Cottage.
- $100,000 for matched dollar for dollar heritage works.
- $40,000 for the Sandy Hollow Village Master Plan.
Supporting Jobs and Economic Growth and Diversification
- $500,00 to support jobs growth and encourage business expansion.
- Reinvestment of the Future Fund’s $1m dividend to continue Council’s strategy to aggressively grow the fund and seed education project grants.
- New resources for economic research and strategic communications to enhance Council’s capacity to secure external capital grant funding.
- Establishment of a hub for start up and innovative businesses, including research activity in partnership with the University of Newcastle.