The Northern Beaches Council announced that it has endorsed the Budget and Delivery Program for 2021-22, which will see a record $125 million invested in capital works for roads, footpaths, cycleways, floodway mitigation, new surf clubs and playgrounds.
The delivery program and budget sets out the work the Northern Beaches Council will carry out over the next four years to address community priorities and needs.
While on public exhibition for a month, the draft program and budget attracted a wide range of submissions from the community.
Mayor Michael Regan said due to prudent financial management, the Council could deliver a $473 million balanced budget with a strong focus on investing in new and improved community infrastructure as well as pay down another $5 million of debt.
“Like most NSW councils, Northern Beaches saw a revenue decline in the last year due to the impact from COVID-19,” Mr Regan said.
“However, due to compassionate measures the Council put in place we were able to help those most impacted by the pandemic and maintain our strong financial position.
“That strong position allows us to push ahead with important infrastructure works that will contribute to strong community growth, resilience and set us up for a secure future.
”This includes new surf clubs at Mona Vale and Long Reef, new and renewed playgrounds at Clontarf Reserve, Little Manly Point, Griffith and Jacka parks, new public amenities at Shelly Beach, Forestville Town Centre and Porters Reserve, multiple upgrades to our shopping villages and many kilometres of resurfaced roads and new and renewed footpaths.”
Mr Regan said the good news is that 76 per cent of Northern Beaches residents will see a reduction in their rates next financial year due to the rates harmonisation process.
“Even after the NSW Government compelled amalgamated councils to ‘harmonise’ their rates, Northern Beaches was able to reduce its rates for the majority of ratepayers.
“Council has adopted a responsible budget for uncertain times which sustains service levels and invests in community infrastructure.
“The pensioner concession is now at the most generous level of the former three Council areas and the harmonised stormwater charge will ensure we can upgrade ageing stormwater infrastructure to prevent flooding and keep our waterways clean.
“The 2021/2022 Budget is a sustainable budget that seeks to build on existing initiatives to support recovery from COVID-19 and to prioritise significant long-term infrastructure projects that will enhance the liveability of our community,” Mr Regan said.
Community infrastructure highlights include:
- $10.6 million for resurfacing 13km roads, renewing 2km and building 6km new footpaths
- $5.7 million towards cycleways
- $16.1 million towards new surf club buildings at Mona Vale and Long Reef, and upgrades to others
- $9.6 million investment in stormwater works to reduce flooding and pollution
- $7.8 million towards improving pedestrian safety in school zones
- $8.6 million to start the Warriewood Valley community centre
- $2.9 million for open space and transport in Warriewood Valley
- $3.2 million towards wharves at Mackerel and Currawong beaches, and design for Church Point wharf
- $2.2 million towards upgrades to Duffys Forest RFS Station, Marine Rescue Broken Bay and other emergency buildings
- $1.9 million to improving sports fields