Clarence City Council adopted its budget for next financial year at its meeting tonight, with key road, infrastructure, and facilities projects prioritised.
Faced with the fastest growing population in Greater Hobart, and particularly rapid growth in the Clarence Plains region, Council approved a $6.1 million upgrade to Pass Road, a key traffic route between Rokeby and Mornington.
Additional to this, $6.5 million in road and footpath upgrades and renewal has been allocated, and almost $4 million in facility upgrades across the city headline the budget that will see an average rate increase of 6.53% – which comes in below the current rate of inflation for Hobart of 6.9% (March Consumer Price Index).
Clarence City Council Mayor Brendan Blomeley said the budget sought to strike a balance between continuing to invest for the future while being mindful of the current cost of living pressures being experienced by many in the community.
“Thanks to strong leadership and prudent financial decision making in the past, Clarence City Council has one of the strongest financial positions of any local government body in the state,” Mayor Blomeley said.
“It is because of this strong position that we are able to deliver a proposed average rate increase of 6.53%, below the current rate of inflation for Hobart of 6.9% (March CPI), and substantially lower than the Local Government Cost Index of 8.11% released earlier this year.
“We believe our community are getting value from their rates in the wide variety of services and infrastructure council continues to invest in and deliver, whether it be community halls, playgrounds, roads, or community development programs or important immunisation and child and family services we provide.
“This year our budget will deliver more than $28 million dollars of investment in our capital program, taking the total committed program to over $50 million dollars.
“We’ve worked hard to balance meeting the needs of our rapidly growing city, the needs of our community and the rising cost of living. We know there are people in our community doing it tough and for those that are really struggling, I encourage you to call our team and have a discussion about our financial hardship policy and how we can help.”
Capital program highlights
The $28.9 million capital program in the 2023-24 budget includes:
- $6.1 million – Pass Road upgrade
- $2.5 million – major digouts and reconstruction
- $2.5million – Alma Street, a new facility for Alma After School and Family Day Care
- $2.06 million – stormwater upgrades
- $1.38 million – footpath, kerb and gutter renewal
- $1.25 million – road resealing asphalt
- $1 million – Council Chambers expansion project
- $850,000 – footpath, kerb and gutter reseal preparation
- $825,000 – Fairfield Road, stormwater upgrade
- $800,000 – Cambridge Dog Park construction
- $800,000 – Backhouse Lane, road upgrade
- $800,000 – Begonia Street, upgrade to sealed road
- $500,000 – Dorans Road retaining wall
- $350,000 – Clarence Foreshore Trail, Rosny College stage 3
- $300,000 – Howrah stormwater detention basins investigation and design
- $290,000 – Anzac Park Community Sports Pavilion
- $230,000 – Roches Beach Road, drainage and footpath upgrades
- $220,000 – Rosny Early Learning Centre, staff amenities
- $200,000 – Kangaroo Bay gross pollutant trap
- $200,000 – play space ongoing renewal and upgrades.
There are several noteworthy projects which are behind this year’s expansion of capital works, including a new $2.5 million facility for Almas After School and Family Day Care, and $800,000 for the construction of a much-anticipated dog park at Cambridge.
The capital program in the adopted budget also includes money for the upgrade of Council Chambers, with the redevelopment set to make council Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant as well as a space that is more accessible for the community and staff.
“The proposed redevelopment, the first in over two decades, would carry forward the principles of our City Heart Project, providing a more accessible space for community members to participate in council meetings, and book space for community meetings and receptions like our recent Volunteer Gala and Citizen of the Year event as one example,” said Mayor Blomeley.
To read the full budget papers go to – www.ccc.tas.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Clarence-Meeting-Agenda-5-June-2023.pdf
To watch the full budget debate, go to council’s YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOFkwrlB1NY.