Hobart City Plans Strategic, Community-Centric Budget

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The City of Hobart has unveiled its budget for the 2024-25 financial year, prioritising the balance between essential services and future-oriented projects.

Despite managing only 3% of every dollar paid in tax, local governments like Hobart continue to deliver efficient and vital services to their communities.

"Hobart is committed to roads, rates, and rubbish," said Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds.

"But our vision is also for a modern, thriving city that addresses the needs of today while planning for tomorrow."

As part of its long-term financial plan, the City has approved a 5% increase in rates and charges (not including state fire and waste levies).

This equates to an average weekly increase of about $2.80 for residents.

This adjustment ensures continued investment in essential and future infrastructure without imposing excessive burdens on residents.

And just like most households, the City will also be tightening its belt, reviewing and reducing its expenses over the next 12 months.

Investment in Essentials and Beyond

The 2024-25 budget includes substantial allocations for essential services.

Road and footpath maintenance will see an investment of $2.9 million, while $9.1 million is earmarked for waste management, covering waste and recycling collection, landfill operations, litter bin maintenance, and the rehabilitation of McRobies Waste Management Centre.

Recognising the importance of green spaces, Hobart is dedicating $100,000 to park and street tree planting, supporting the city's goal of a 40% urban tree canopy by 2046.

"Trees are essential for our health and well-being, improving air quality and enhancing the beauty of our city," Cr Reynolds said.

Environmental and Infrastructure Enhancements

Environmental sustainability is a key focus, with significant investments aimed at improving Hobart's natural and urban environments.

The budget includes $600,000 for the installation of the McRobies Outlet Gross Pollutant Trap to enhance stormwater management and protect local wildlife, including the Hobart Rivulet's most famous inhabitant, the platypus.

An additional $200,000 will renew the Gore Street debris irons, safeguarding against flood debris.

The $2.15 million New Town Rivulet Estuary Restoration Project is a collaborative effort with the Glenorchy City Council to restore and improve public access to this vital area.

"This project will increase the ecological health and visual aspects of the Rivulet and provide new recreational opportunities for our residents," Cr Reynolds said.

Enhancing Mobility and Accessibility

Improving urban mobility is another priority, with $340,000 allocated to enhance the Collins Street streetscape, making it safer for cyclists, pedestrians, and those with mobility challenges.

Additionally, $90,000 will support planning for the potential Battery Point Walkway.

The expansion of the Greater Hobart Ferry Service, with the first $4.5 million investment of the Federal Government's $20 million grant, promises to ease traffic congestion and offer a sustainable travel option for both residents and visitors.

"Our ferry service has quickly become a popular mode of transportation, and this expansion will further incorporate it into our public transport network," said Cr Reynolds.

Community and Recreational Investments

Hobart's parks and playgrounds, which are repeatedly highly valued by residents in our community surveys, will receive $200,000 for renewal projects.

The redevelopment of the Queenborough Oval changerooms, with a budget of $3.5 million, will provide modern facilities for sports teams and community groups, enhancing accessibility for all users.

"The Queenborough Oval project is particularly important for promoting inclusivity in sports, especially for our female athletes," Cr Reynolds said.

"Ensuring accessible facilities is a priority for our community."

Community Satisfaction and Future Priorities

The 2023 community satisfaction survey, with 500 respondents, showed a slight increase in overall satisfaction, scoring 6.4 out of 10.

Key services like garbage, recycling, FOGO collections, and the maintenance of parks and playgrounds received high satisfaction ratings.

As Hobart looks to the future, the city's priorities include ensuring financial sustainability, focusing on core services, maximising external grant funding, and aligning investments with strategic priorities.

"Our consultative process ensures that residents' voices are heard and considered in all our decisions," Cr Reynolds said.

The City of Hobart is committed to delivering a balanced, strategic budget that is aligned to our mission of Working Together to Make Hobart a better place for the community.

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