Council approves largest capital works spend in more than decade

Willoughby City

Willoughby City Council capital works.png

Willoughby City Council has approved its largest capital works spend in more than a decade, including on major leisure centre, streetscape and park upgrades, as part of its 2022/23 budget adopted on Monday night.

The Council has supported a $57 million projects and capital works program over the next financial year, the largest since 2010/11 when Chatswood’s The Concourse venue and precinct was under construction.

“This major capital works spend will help Willoughby City to bounce back from COVID-19 and deliver new and upgraded facilities for our growing community,” Willoughby City Mayor Tanya Taylor said.

The 2022/23 capital works schedule sets aside:

  • $10m towards the Willoughby Leisure Centre upgrade, which will deliver three new pools, an upgraded multi-sports court hall, enhanced communal areas and improved accessibility and sustainability outcomes
  • $8m to upgrade the Artarmon local centre, including to improve pedestrian amenity and safety, increase alfresco dining space, provide new public amenities and deliver part of a regional walking and cycling path
  • $3m to design and commence construction of an affordable housing project at Artarmon, which will house key workers near local jobs, transport and schools
  • $2.3m to complete the shared walking and cycling pathway on Pacific Highway between Mowbray Rd, Chatswood and Herbert St, St Leonards
  • $1.95m in playing field, parks and playground works, including the renewal of the Bales and Wickham Park playgrounds, transformation of the Warners Park lower green into a park facility, an upgrade of the playing surface at Alan Hyslop Oval and a new picnic area at Thomson Park
  • $1.7m to deliver a new Artarmon Parklands pavilion through adaptive reuse of the existing structure. The pavilion will include a room for hire, picnic area and seating.
  • $1m to design and build the Naremburn local centre streetscape upgrade
  • $205,000 to renew and repair the Northbridge Baths

“We are setting ourselves a challenging and ambitious capital works schedule and we’ll be working closely with the community and other stakeholders to help us deliver it,” Mayor Taylor said.

Mayor Taylor said the budget adoption also included delivering an average $38 per household rates reduction, following the cessation of the Council’s Infrastructure Levy.

Following feedback received during May on the Council’s draft Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework, the Council has also decided to set aside:

  • $100,000 to review and strengthen the Council’s community engagement framework
  • $50,000 to accelerate planning and future delivery of urban streetscapes greening and tree canopy expansion
  • $50,000 to better plan for sportsground facilities upgrades; and
  • $50,000 to prioritise and schedule the actions of a range of park masterplans, to better inform a program of works.

Mayor Taylor said the Council had also decided to adopt a new ten-year Community Strategic Plan, known as Our Future Willoughby 2032, along with a new four-year Delivery Program and 2022/23 Operational Plan and Resourcing Strategy.

“I would like to thank the community for the many hundreds of comments and survey responses we received on our long and short-term corporate planning documents during May,” Mayor Taylor said.

“We’ve made a number of changes to these documents to better align the wording of the Council’s priorities and actions with this feedback.”

Caption: Willoughby City Council has approved the largest capital works investment since The Concourse was under construction.

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