Kempsey Shire Council approves largest infrastructure budget

Kempsey Shire Council

Councillors at the first meeting of the new term

The 2022-23 financial year in Kempsey will see the delivery of a $107 million capital works program across the shire that will result in a variety of new and replacement assets, facilities and infrastructure.

Kempsey Shire Council has adopted the biggest capital works budget ever on the back of substantial grant funding.

At their June meeting, Councillors adopted a four-year plan for Council projects through the Delivery Program, which is given life in the budget that has been approved for the 2022-23 financial year in the Operational Plan.

Of the $107 million capital works program planned for 2022-23, $42.4 million is grant funded.

General Manager, Craig Milburn, said that a large percentage of these projects have only come about due to dedicated work by Council to secure the state and federal government grants.

“This budget demonstrates our commitment to balancing our shire’s long-term financial sustainability with the substantial infrastructure needs around the community,” said Mr Milburn.

“It is also a credit to Council’s ongoing organisational transformation, as we have put in place the organisational structure and planning processes to make it a realistic goal to deliver this impressive list of important and beneficial works to the Kempsey Shire.”

Largely driven by grant funding, the list of key project includes:

  • Continued multimillion dollar investment in improving and maintaining the shire’s road network
  • Significant investment into waste management
  • Stuarts Point, Sherwood, and Central Kempsey Sewage Treatment Schemes
  • Reservoir Refurbishments
  • Steuart McIntyre Dam Emergency Water Treatment Plant
  • Crescent Head and Willawarrin Water Treatment Plants
  • Flooding infrastructure rehabilitation and renewal
  • Slim Dusty Centre internal and external works
  • Kempsey Airport wildlife fencing
  • Kempsey Regional Saleyards infrastructure upgrade
  • South West Rocks Library and Community Hub planning and design
  • Horseshoe Bay Master Plan implementation
  • Smithtown Sporting Fields lighting upgrade
  • Crescent Head Foreshore works
  • Kempsey sports precinct
  • Macleay Valley Adventure Recreation Park
  • Capital improvements across Council’s five Macleay Valley Coast Holiday Parks.

The Delivery Program and Operational Plan are a further example of Council delivering on its mission to “lead and work with our community to build an inspired, connected Macleay Valley.”

In approving the suite of planning documents, Councillors discussed many aspects of the budget at length, including the need for further financial prudence moving forward following successful reduction of council’s deficit in recent years and the inaccurate belief among some in the community that Council could legally direct all funds towards road repairs.

The community engagement results and submissions regarding airport fees were also considered in the debate. Council ultimately resolved to apply the principles of users pays in line with expectations of Local Government, noting that Kempsey Airport is already a significant cost for the whole community.

The following documents in the Integrated Planning and Reporting suite were also adopted:

  • Revenue Policy 2022-23;
  • Schedule of Fees and Charges 2022-23;
  • Rates Maps 2022-23;
  • Long Term Financial Plan 2022-
  • Workforce Management Plan 2022-26;
  • Strategic Asset Management Plan 2022-32; and
  • Digital Strategy

To download or learn more about these documents and other key planning documents used by Council head to

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