Council’s Plan for a stable budget, despite COVID challenges

Major capital works to overhaul the existing water supply are proposed over the next four years, as part of Dubbo Regional Council’s (DRC’s) latest Long Term Financial Plan and Budget. $45.9 million in capital works is expected to take place, to upgrade the existing network, and storage facilities. These capital works programs are dependent on projected revenues to be received over the next four years.

In addition to major capital works for water services, $19 million has been allocated for urban roads capital works over the next four years, including $8.6 million in 2021/2022 Financial Year. Other roads earmarked for major capital works include $29.1 million for rural roads, with $1.80 million in the next financial year for resealing and re-sheeting of unsealed roads.

Acting Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Stephen Lawrence, said the major capital works budgeted for shows that despite the challenges of COVID-19, DRC is able to provide vital upgrades to infrastructure.

“There is also $2.1 million over the next four years for footpath and cycle way construction, with $924,864 of that money to be spent in the upcoming financial year. Other major infrastructure projects for the 2021/2022 financial year include replacing three existing timber bridges, and the long-awaited completion of the Boundary Road extension,” said Councillor Lawrence.

“There will also be a renewed push to encourage local spending, with $50,000 for Council’s Ignite program, and further funding to increase marketing of the Dubbo Region as an adventure destination for families, by leveraging the Great Big Adventure Pass. All these initiatives were identified as key strategies in the Economic Recovery Taskforce, for COVID-19,” said Councillor Lawrence.

Parking technology will also be investigated, to allow the community to find a parking space easier, and even book a park through an app. This is something seen across a number of Councils Australia-wide and is a model that could assist DRC’s parking rangers cover a larger area of the CBD.

“Meanwhile, in the Liveability division, fees and charges at Aquatic Leisure Centres have been simplified and harmonised, and aquatic clubs are no longer required to pay an additional annual fee for use of facilities, and will be subject to the same fees and charges as all facility users. An all-access season pass has been established, which includes admission to Dubbo, as well as the Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centre, and Geurie Swimming Pool,” said Councillor Lawrence.

In addition to the current budget documents, DRC has now implemented its new Rates Calculator, which is available for members of the public to input their Assessment Number to gain an estimate on how much more, or less, their rates will be for the upcoming financial year. It’s important to note that the figures are just an estimate, and that it is only for general rates and doesn’t include things like water access and usage, or waste collection fees.

The draft budget documents and the Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) will be on public exhibition for a period of 28 days from this Friday 30 April, and Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) is asking residents to provide their feedback, in an online submission form. The documents can be found on DRC’s website: www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au

ENDS

DPOP DPN Half page 262 x 190mm

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