Low rate rises continue on path to recovery

Published on Tuesday, 22 June 2021 at 6:00:00 PM

Rate rises remain low as the City of Greater Geraldton Council adopted the 2021/22 Budget with a “back to basics” approach as the path to recovery continues.

More than a year since the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, and just months on from the Cyclone Seroja disaster, Councillors have taken a conservative approach – keeping rate increases low despite a large increase in state utility costs for local governments.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said while the City is currently operating at a deficit, it was clear Council did not want to put home owners through unattainable rate rises.

“The costs of running our City have risen significantly with the state increasing charges to local government by more than 3% for streetlights, 4% increase on Emergency Services Levy (ESL) and our insurance costs are up by 15%,” he said.

“Not to mention the added costs of things such as a local election this financial year and property revaluations which total more than $700,000.

“As we continue on our path to recovering from the short and long term financial impacts incurred by COVID-19 as well as the recent cyclone, we’ve been presented with significant financial challenges.

“But we will maintain our commitment to the whole community, maintaining functionality, amenities and safety by renewing infrastructure assets and delivery on our core business,” he added.

Aggregate rates will rise only 1.75% this financial year, and minimum rates will be $1,027.

The City has revised the Long Term Financial Plan with a goal to move to a small surplus position in 2023-24.

With business as usual, roads and footpaths are top of the list with a record investment into renewing aged roads.

Nearly $10 million will be used to fix and maintain our roads including resealing 21kms of sealed roads and re-sheeting 55kms of unsealed roads.

And more than 5200m of footpaths will be renewed and 5600m of new suburban footpaths will be constructed.

Community infrastructure in the suburbs is also receiving a boost with projects such as the upgrade to the Aquarena 50m outdoor pool, GRAMS Reserve Upgrade, the Railway Street Safe Active Project and a pedestrian crossing over the Chapman River.

New public toilets, more shade on the Foreshore and increased revitalisation to our CBD as part of the Chapman Road Tactical Urbanisation Pilot Project are also stand out projects in the coming financial year.

With waste high on the community’s agenda, the City will be rolling out the Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) waste trial to an extra 2,500 homes along with a significant spend on Meru waste diversion infrastructure including upgrades to the Tip Shop.

Many of the projects outlined in the Budget are underpinned in the City’s Corporate Business Plan, which was also adopted by Council tonight alongside the Strategic Community Plan.

The Corporate Business Plan details the programs and services the City will undertake over the next four year period to achieve the objectives of the Strategic Community Plan. It is an internal business planning document identifying key priorities.

For more information and to view the City’s 2021/22 Budget, head to www.cgg.wa.gov.au

Back to All News