Devonport Council Reveals Massive 2024/25 Capital Works Budget

Devonport City Council Tasmania

Devonport City Council will consider the formal adoption of its 2024/25 budget at the upcoming Council meeting on Monday night. With the City on a wave of significant growth and investment the Council is looking to continue the momentum with a massive $35 million capital program planned for the 2024/25 year, more than doubling traditional capital expenditure levels. The General Rate will increase 4.5% for this financial year, representing a total 10.3% increase over a three-year period, well below cpi of 15.7% over the same period. The strong financial position of Council has allowed rate increases to be both minimised and phased in during the high inflationary period, of recent years.

The Operational Budget includes $50.72 million in expenditure to ensure the continuation of all services expected in a vibrant regional city. The provision of 545km of roads and footpaths remains the Council's largest expense, constituting about 20% of the total budget. Waste management, public reserves, and arts & culture follow as the next largest expenditure areas. A significant initiative this year is the introduction of a fortnightly FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) collection service to all residential properties, starting in July 2024, aimed at enhancing environmental outcomes and reducing landfill costs.

With an estimated income of $52.23 million, the budget anticipates a net operating surplus of $1.51 million. Excluding the non-cash share of profit from the Dulverton Regional Waste Management Authority, the estimated surplus stands at $0.47 million.

This year's General Rate increase translates to an annual rise of $97 for the average residential property. With a $15 increase to the Waste Management Service Charge and adjustments to the State Government Fire and Waste Levies, the total rise equates to just $2 per week for the average household.

Mayor Alison Jarman praised the Council's financial prudence, stating, "Our ability to maintain rate increases at a level below most Councils, whilst still investing in future growth and not compromising on existing services demonstrates our strong financial management."

"We have a clear vision on what we want to achieve during the term of this current Council, with the priorities all set out in our Term Plan 2022-26. The Annual Plan and Budget for 24/25 outlines the specific actions we will take over the next 12 months and importantly provides the necessary funding."

"There is no doubt the City of Devonport is becoming a thriving regional City and Council is committed to continue the growth and momentum we have seen in recent years."

General Manager Matthew Atkins highlighted the budget's balance between fiscal responsibility and community investment. "This budget ensures we continue to provide essential services and maintain infrastructure, while also introducing new initiatives like the FOGO service, which supports our environmental goals."

"Capital expenditure will also be significant this year with a $35 million program. Headlining this expenditure is $15.25m to commence the new indoor sports stadium at the Devonport Oval and a final allocation of $3m to complete the new grandstand and corporate area at the Valley Road Soccer Centre. Other priorities include $1.21m for resource recovery improvements at the Waste Transfer Station, $2.01m for missing sections of the coastal pathway and $10.36m in stormwater and road improvements to core community infrastructure," said Mr Atkins.

Parking fees will remain unchanged next year, and Council is not planning any new borrowings.

Devonport City Council remains dedicated to serving the community's best interests through prudent financial management, strategic investments, and a commitment to delivering essential services and improving infrastructure. This budget reflects the Council's ongoing efforts to create a thriving future for Devonport and its residents.

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