Fremantle Council has adopted an annual budget for 2021-22 focussed on the renewal of community assets and suburban infrastructure.
The 2021-22 Annual Budget includes just over $100 million in operating and capital expenditure for the coming financial year, including a redirection of funds to roads, parks, beach assets and sporting facilities.
Fremantle Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan said after a period of major transformation in the city centre and some significant conservation of heritage buildings, this year’s budget is clearly aimed at the suburbs.
“Over the past decade we’ve seen the revitalisation of central Fremantle and the construction of major new assets for the City such as the Walyalup Civic Centre and Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre,” Cr Sullivan said.
“Many of our most cherished heritage buildings have also enjoyed significant conservation works, including the Fremantle Town Hall, Victoria Hall, The Old Boys School and ongoing works at the Fremantle Arts Centre.
“With those projects either finalised or close to completion we’ve now turned our attention in this budget to consolidating and renewing our existing assets.
“There is a strong focus on investing in upgrading and maintaining community facilities at our beaches, parks and playgrounds that our residents and ratepayers use every day.
“This includes things like an initial $270,000 commitment to start the process of replacing the changerooms, toilets and café at South Beach; $760,000 to build the new mountain bike trails in Booyeembara Park; an additional $450,000 to increase the size of the community spaces in the Booyeembara community centre and a $1.1 million contribution to underground power in Hilton.
“Of course, we’re still investing in heritage, including $2.2 million towards important restoration works at Fremantle Markets, $200,000 for the Fremantle Education Centre and $30,000 to restore a number of heritage walls at places like Arthur Head and Monument Hill.”
The 2021-22 annual budget includes a general rate increase of 3.95 per cent, which is slightly higher than WALGA’s Local Government Cost Index of 3.2 per cent.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Glen Dougall said the rate increase would accelerate the growth in funding for operations and asset renewal in line with the City’s long-term financial plan and to keep apace with the expectations of our community.
“Fremantle has become increasingly popular as a place to live and work and we need to invest in maintaining the services and facilities that residents value and enjoy as we enter the post COVID era,” Mr Dougall said.
“This year’s budget represents the beginning of a three to five-year journey, as part of our long-term financial plan, to really invest back into our suburbs and ensure all our residents have access to the type of facilities and services, events and activities that make Fremantle such a fantastic and vibrant city.
“Rate bills vary from property to property depending on their Gross Rental Value as determined by the Valuer General, but the average residential rate bill in Fremantle this year will be about $2000, which is an increase of around $82 from last year.
“Delays in completing the Walyalup Civic Centre resulting from COVID-19 supply chain issues, and then the Pindan liquidation, will see some expenses carried forward into this financial year.
“The City was well protected by the contract conditions, insurances and the project bank account that we had insisted on and so there has been no detrimental impact on our 2020-21 budget.”
- Fremantle Markets – $2.2 million
- Roads/footpaths/bike infrastructure – $2.5 million
- Hilton underground power contribution (selected areas) – $1.1 million
- Renewal of sporting facilities – $950,000
- Booyeembara Park Mountain Bike Trails – $760,000
- Renewal of suburban parks – $707,000
- Beach infrastructure (including South Beach toilets project initiation) – $625,000
- Fremantle Golf Course club house and community centre – $450,000