The City of Swan Council has adopted the 2022/23 budget, delivering a zero per cent increase in total rates revenue for the same property base for the third year running.
City of Swan Deputy Mayor Mel Congerton said the City’s focus for the new financial year was meeting the needs of the community now and well into the future.
“With rising inflation and costs, our priority is to reduce financial pressure on our ratepayers which is why there will be no increase in rates,” he said.
“We have achieved this through careful management of our operating budgets and capital works projects.”
In addition to the zero per cent increase, Council agreed to an appropriate increase of Fees and Charges including no administration charge, a five per cent interest charge for ratepayers entering into the formal rates instalment program and a five per cent penalty interest being charged on overdue rates (including Specified Area Rates).
The COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy will also continue in 2022/23, supporting the whole community to meet the ongoing and unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget delivers an extensive Capital Works Program which aims to enhance the lifestyles of our residents and improve the liveability of our neighbourhoods.
This includes $93.4 million on roads and bridges to improve road safety and reduce congestion, and $25.1 million on modern facilities that will enrich our communities for years to come.
Highlights of our Capital Works Program include the Ellenbrook Youth Centre, Brockman Community Centre and Dayton District Open Space.
The Ellenbrook Youth Centre will provide a new, purpose-built centre where local young people can access a range of activities, services and supports focused on health, wellbeing and development.
Stage two of the Dayton District Open Space, due to begin later this year, will provide much-needed open space for the local community to stay healthy and active. The second stage will deliver 12 hectares of recreation and sporting facilities, including sport pavilions, AFL ovals, synthetic hockey fields, netball courts and cricket nets.
The City’s budget also outlines a commitment to protecting our natural environment, which includes increasing our urban tree canopy and providing rewards for sustainable businesses and residents.
As part of our Urban Forest Plan, we are planting trees in our reserves and along roads including 900 on the Stock Road extension in Bullsbrook, 370 on Henley Brook Avenue and a further 700 street trees in various locations.
The City will also continue to provide discounts to residents and local businesses on a range of products and services including solar energy, composting equipment and rainwater tanks as part of the ‘Switch Your Thinking’ program.
“In a changing climate, community wellbeing and sustainability are closely linked, which is why we’re investing in protecting our natural environment,” Cr Congerton said.
“We’re implementing a range of initiatives, from extensive tree planting programs in Ellenbrook, Dayton and Henley Brook, to hosting free Thinking Green workshops that equip our residents with the knowledge to make more sustainable, environmentally-conscious choices.”