Council places 2015/16 Draft Delivery Program and Operations Plan and Draft Long Term Financial Plan on public exhibition

Published: 30 May 2018 11:22am

Council places 2015/16 Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan and Draft Long Term Financial Plan on public exhibition - 27 April 2015

Wagga Wagga City Council has placed a total operating expenditure budget of $108 million for 2015/16 on public exhibition from 28 April.

Also forming part of the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) are capital renewals of $15M and new capital expenditure of $36M.

Council is asking for community feedback on funding priorities, projects and operations, with the exhibition period running until Tuesday 26 May.

The budget for both 2015/16 and 2016/17 years are balanced, with a surplus position forecast for 2017/18 and 2018/19.

This position has been achieved with significant changes to the both operational and capital budgets including savings over a 10-year period of $21.9M in salaries, $5.6M in utility costs and $2.6M in operational budgets.

These savings have helped Council overcome unfavourable adjustments to revenue sources, including a three-year freeze on the indexation of the Federal Government's Financial Assistance Grant ($9.4M) and reduction of return on investment of $1.4M over the 10-year period.

Significant changes have been made to both operational and capital budgets since the review of the 2014/24 LTFP.

The Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) outlines Council’s commitment over the term of the current elected Council, identifying specific projects and budgets over a four-year period as well as identifying specific operations, services and projects to be delivered during the 2015/2016 financial year.

“In preparing the DPOP, Council has made decisions in adjusting its operations and ensuring it is progressing towards meeting the benchmarks required under the State

Government’s ‘Fit For the Future’ reform package,” Director Corporate Services Craig Richardson said.

“At the time of the release of the benchmarks, Wagga Wagga met three of the seven benchmarks set by the State Government, but after further review we now meet four benchmarks.

“Council is in the process of developing an action plan that will identify how it will work towards meeting all of the benchmarks.

“Some of the actions will include:

* reviewing Council’s asset depreciation methodology;

* assessing the infrastructure backlog for road and road related asset types;

* investigating shared services opportunities with neighbouring Councils;

* continuing to focus on operating a lean organisation; and

* conducting operational efficiency reviews across the organisation.”

Both the draft DPOP and LTFP are available at or from Council’s Customer Service Centre. Submissions close on Tuesday 26 May.

Project highlights in the 2015-16 DPOP include:

Bomen Business Park Development

The Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RIFL) hub project involves the construction of new major rail and road infrastructure and a freight terminal on 95 hectares of land north of Wagga Wagga at the Bomen Business Park.

The project also includes the development of an agricultural bulk goods facility (grain terminal) and will be a key economic driver of growth in the Riverina.

Key project deliverables for the 2015/2016 financial year will include the finalisation of commercial models, customer agreements, constructions plans and project funding by late 2015. Stage 1 construction is proposed to commence in early 2016 which will include the construction of enabling roads, grain terminal and an intermodal terminal.

Narrung Wetland Project

This project will see the transformation of the Narrung Street sewage treatment ponds turned into a recreational wetland area for the community.

The Narrung Wetland area will include an open air education centre, walkways, bird hides, interpretive signage and a sampling jetty.

The project is a collaborative effort with funding from Wagga Wagga City Council, Riverina Local Land Services and the NSW Environmental Trust. A Green Army project team will also be working on the site as part of the Federal government initiative.

Flood Mitigation Studies

2015/2016 will see the revision of Council’s Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan.

The revision will include a comprehensive review of the existing Floodplain

Risk Management plan. Additional modelling will be undertaken to assess flood behaviour, considering the impacts of cumulative development and vegetation in the floodplain.

The modelling will inform recommendations on planning controls and management of vegetation in the floodplain. Extensive stakeholder engagement will be undertaken as part of the project.

Dependent upon successful application for grant funding, work may continue on the Major Overland Flow Flood Risk Management Study and Plan and may commence on the Village Overland Flow Flood Risk Management Study and Plan.

Levee Bank Upgrade

Council is completing the investigation and detailed design of the upgrade of the Main City Levee and the North Wagga Levees.

Council is also undertaking community consultation on the detailed investigation and design together with alternative options for North Wagga. Council remains committed to funding one third of the cost of the upgrades and is awaiting the outcome of a funding application to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH) for the remaining cost.

Road renewal Program

The Road Pavement Rehabilitation Program will include the renewal of 50,000sqm of road in the local government area. Roads identified for renewal include:

 Byrnes Road

 Fitzhardinge Street

 Lloyd Road

 Tarcutta Street

 Plumpton Road

 Eunony Bridge Road

 Emu Plains Bridge

 Darlow Street

 Grandview Avenue

 Lake Albert Road

The program is dependent on changing priorities and condition of assets, as well as favourable weather conditions and the availability of resources.