The City of Launceston has adopted its 2020/21 Annual Budget.
The 2020/21 Annual Budget features a zero per cent general rate increase in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the Council’s Community Care and Recovery Package.
Each year the City of Launceston undertakes community consultation on its Annual Plan, Annual Budget and rating resolution for the financial year ahead, however this was not possible this year as a result of the pandemic.
Once the scale of the pandemic became clear in March, the Council withdrew its original draft Annual Budget, and redeveloped the document from the ground up, allowing the organisation to roll out its comprehensive Community Care and Recovery Package.
The revised Operations Budget for 2020/2021 forecasts an underlying deficit of $11.3m, a general increase to fees and charges of 3 per cent, and a $43.9m capital works program.
It includes $7m for works at Launceston’s historic Albert Hall, $1m for repair and upgrade works at the Launceston Road Safety Centre, $300,000 for footpath upgrades across the municipality, $6m for the construction of a new landfill cell, and $2.4m for road resealing, among other projects.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Council was in a strong financial position due to a long track record of responsible financial management.
“The Council has worked very hard this year in redrafting the Annual Budget to keep general rate increases at zero, because we know many people in our community have been impacted by the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor van Zetten said.
“We’re hopeful the steps we’ve taken in response to the pandemic will help small businesses, keep Northern Tasmanians in jobs and spur economic activity in our construction industry.
“However, the Community Care and Recovery Package will also have impacts on the Council’s bottom line, and it will be important to manage those impacts sustainably in coming years.
“The Annual Budget we have prepared provides a sensible economic pathway forward, allowing us to continue to provide high level services and facilities to our community, while limiting the burden on our ratepayers.”
To see the Fees & Charges 2020-21 document, click here(PDF, 1MB)
To see the Statutory Budget Report 2020-21, click here(PDF, 57KB)