RATES for the average Bunbury property owner will rise by 4.5 per cent, after the City of Bunbury adopted its 2016-2017 budget on Wednesday night.
The rate rise is based on an extra 2.5 per cent to pay for operating expenditure increases, one per cent to cater for growth and one per cent contribution to asset upgrades and renewal for the next five years.
Council’s total budgeted expenditure is $80 million with $30.1 million for capital works, $2.2 million for debt reduction and $47.7 million for operating expenditure.
Key capital projects include the $5.1 million upgrade of Koombana Drive, $2.5 million for the purchase of a new city depot site, $4.6 million for the first stage of the Koombana Bay foreshore upgrade and $1 million towards a water playground.
Mayor Gary Brennan said it was important the budget was affordable for the community and focused on maintaining the level of services the community continues to expect.
“A rate increase of 4.5 per cent is responsible while also providing for growth, future expenditure and achieving Council’s strategic objectives,” Cr Brennan said.
“It is important to note that waste charges will not increase and other fees and charges increases have been kept at a modest level.”
With a carried forward cash surplus of $736,000, Cr Brennan said the City was in a very healthy financial position with cash reserves for future expenditure expected to be $19 million by June 2017.
“Increased competition from our suppliers and the professionalism and commitment from the City’s officers has played a significant part in our current financial position,” Cr Brennan said.
“It is also appropriate to commend external stakeholders, such as the state government and private developers, who have shown faith in Bunbury and continue to invest in projects that bring social and economic benefit.”
An allocation of $488,000 was made towards the development and support of events including Australia Day, Christmas carnival and external events while $387,000 will go towards operational support for the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.