Shoalhaven City Council has announced that it has put a number of construction projects on hold, amongst other actions, due to its difficult current financial position. 

Since receiving its Financial Sustainability Review report from financial experts AEC in November 2023, Council has been progressing with its 27 recommended actions to increase revenue and cut costs to reduce the projected annual $25 million to $35 million structural deficit.

In January 2024, Council resolved not to proceed with a Special Rate Variation and continue with the remaining actions, including the sale of excess assets, increase operational efficiencies as well as fees and charges.

The projects that have been placed on hold are:

  • Bay and Basin Leisure Centre refurbishment planning and design works
  • Construction of Bob Proudfoot Pavilion, Sanctuary Point
  • Redevelopment of Bomaderry Basketball Stadium
  • Construction of stages 5 to 7 of Boongaree regional park, Berry
  • Investigation, planning and design works of skate parks and pump tracks in Sussex Inlet, Sanctuary Point, Bomaderry and Worrigee
  • Construction of Berry Spinners and Weavers building
  • Construction of Berry Showground animal nursery
  • Investigation, planning and design works of Kangaroo Valley playground

Additional decisions made included investigating a redesign of the Sanctuary Point District Library to be of a smaller scale, and to defer consideration of reinstating outdoor dining fees to the new Council that will be elected in September 2024.

Funding for fireworks events will no longer be eligible to apply for the Community Donations Fund, which has been reduced to $180,000 in the 2024-25 financial year.

Adjustments were also made to balance the 2023-24 financial year budget as part of the quarterly review, which included deferring ten capital works projects and withdrawing funding allocated for events and arts grants.

Council is continuing to work on the draft budget 2024-25 that will progress initiatives to improve the financial stability of the organisation, including increases to fees, charges and rates and prioritising asset maintenance over new capital projects. The draft budget 2024-25 will be presented to Council in May and be placed on public exhibition for community feedback.

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