Wagga Wagga City Council’s draft budget for 2020/21 is focused on meeting the needs of a growing community amid the challenges faced through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The draft combined Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) 2020/21, along with the draft Long Term Financial Plan 2021-2030 and draft Fees and Charges are on public exhibition, with the community able to read over the documents and share their feedback.
Due to the impact and on-going effects of the pandemic this year, Council has forecast an estimated $4.4M budget deficit. However, Council remains committed to progressing key strategic capital works projects throughout the city such as Riverside – Wagga Beach Landscape Upgrade, Pomingalarna Multisport Cycling Complex, Dunns Road Upgrade and Riverina Intermodal Freight Logistics Hub (RiFL) Stages 2 & 3.
The 2020/21 budget features a total budget of $175M, including $129.9M in operating expenditure and $94M in capital project allocations. Council has also again committed $2.03M in contributions, grants and donations to the community next financial year.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said the important documents centre on planning for the future and prioritising important services to meet the diverse needs of the community.
He said this was being done at a particularly difficult time as the global pandemic had significant impacts in Wagga Wagga.
“This situation has affected all levels of government and private enterprise around the world … and Wagga Wagga City Council is not immune to the pandemic’s effects,” Cr Conkey said.
“Nobody needs reminding how tough the past three months have been. However, we continue to look to the future and that’s what we are aiming to achieve with our long term financial strategies.
“The city has an exciting future and there are significant developments moving forward despite the challenges placed upon financial budgets through many facilities being closed.
“A substantial part of this city’s long term planning includes future infrastructure and accommodating the significant amount of state and federal government investment in our city.
“Wagga Wagga has always been a great place to live, visit and invest and we should remain confident we are set for a positive and exciting future.”
Cr Conkey encouraged the community to have its say on what Council is delivering.
“This is a significant budget and now is the time for our community to have a look at these documents, ask questions and have a say on how services are being delivered,” he said.
“Our city has more than $94M of infrastructure projects and programs proposed and community members can expect to see more works right across the city.”
The planning documents will be on public exhibition until 23 June 2020.
Community members can view the draft plans and give their feedback on funding priorities, projects and operations online at connect.wagga.nsw.gov.au or by contacting Council customer service.
Major projects for Council in 2020/21
- Finalisation of the Main City Levee Bank upgrade
- Further development and implementation of the RiFL and the Special Activation Precinct (SAP) at Bomen
- Integrate a new school at Estella within the planned northern sporting and recreation precinct
- Implementing Local Strategic Planning Statements to identify future growth areas for the city and finalising structure plans for areas such as the northern growth area and health precinct
- Implementation of the Active Travel Plan, a network of cycle routes and end-of-trip facilities to promote cycling as a legitimate mode of transport
- Continuing Stage 2 of the Riverside Project to reactivate the Wagga Beach precinct and develop the area as a focal point and destination for residents and visitors, as well as creating linkages to the city’s CBD and existing civic precinct
- Start the Pomingalarna Multisport Cycling Complex
- Dunns Road upgrade
- Eunony Bridge strengthening and widening, and approach roads upgrade
- Airport taxiways upgrade
Integrated Planning and Reporting suite of documents
Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) is the planning and reporting framework Wagga Wagga City Council uses to work towards achieving the community’s vision.
Under NSW Government legislation, councils must prepare a number of plans that provide details on how a council intends to deliver works and services in the short and long term.
What is a Long Term Financial Plan?
The Long Term Financial Plan outlines the future finances of Council’s operations taking into consideration key elements such as rate movements, service levels to our community, major infrastructure, asset replacement and renewals as well as loans, cash reserves and the Revenue and Pricing Policy.
What is a Delivery Program?
The Delivery Program is Council’s four-year statement of commitment to the community from the elected Council. It details the specific strategies that Council will implement to help achieve the community’s priorities and goals as set out in the Community Strategic Plan.
What is an Operational Plan?
The Operational Plan is reviewed and developed yearly. It details the specific actions, projects and program Council will undertake.