City of Bunbury announces major projects and spending in $67.7m 2018/19 budget

The City of Bunbury council has formally approved the $67.7 million 2018/19 budget, described by Mayor Gary Brennan as “beneficial” and “affordable”.

According to the City of Bunbury, the budget has included a rate increase of 2.9 per cent, favoured by the council earlier this month. 

Fees and charges increases were kept to around 1.5 per cent with many areas unaffected. 

The 2018/19 budget has included $16.2m in capital works, $49.3m in operating expenditure, and $2.2m in debt reduction. 

The city has also provided $4.3m for sport and recreation services, $1.4m for the arts, $1m for events, and $725,000 for grants and subsidies to assist community organisations. 

The Stirling Street Arts Centre was a big winner, set to receive $1.9m for redevelopment projects. 

Mr Brennan said the city would provide $86,625 for the project in the coming financial year. 

Other winners have included the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre (set to receive $420,000) and the Senior Citizens Centre ($50,000). 

Infrastructure projects over the next 12 months will include $3.6m in road works, $1.1m in path construction, $615,000 in marine wall renewal projects, and $380,000 in stormwater drainage works. 

Mr Brennan said the budget factored in improvements to Hay Park, the installation of new cycle lanes, and changes to entry statements at enhanced entry points around Bunbury. 

The Halifax Light Industrial Area will also benefit, with the city making strides in increasing CCTV coverage. 

Mr Brennan was pleased the budget would lead to a modest cash surplus of $126,000 by June 30, 2019. 

“Rates are at about $37m, we also received about $12m in fees and charges and that includes rubbish collection charges,” he said. 

“Our productivity, focused on by our staff is improving every year. Throughout each 12 months, I am astounded by the ideas that come from our staff.

“We’ve provided money across all of our services in a very disciplined manner.”

He said the Bunbury-Geographe region would “pick up in a positive way” over the next 12 months. 

“It’s affordable and keeps things moving in creating growth. It recognises that there are businesses doing it tough within our city,” he said. 

The Mayor said Glen Iris was a key focus in 2018/19, and the city would look into providing more resources including a community centre. 

He said the city had previously assisted in significant infrastructural changes for the Withers area. 

Mr Brennan did confirm the city had lost $800,000-$900,000 in revenue over the past financial year due to the current paid parking scheme. 

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