Have your say on draft budgets and plans for the City of Wagga Wagga

Published: 29 May 2018 4:18pm

Have your say on draft budgets and plans for the City of Wagga Wagga - 26 April 2016

The City of Wagga Wagga has placed a total operating expenditure budget of more than $118M on public exhibition.

The community is invited to give their feedback on the Draft Combined Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) 2016/17 and Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) 2016/26 from 27 April until 24 May.

As well as a draft operating budget of $118M, more than $51M in new capital works and $13.6M in recurrent capital works are planned for completion in 2016/17.

“The coming 12 months will be an important time for Wagga Wagga as Council looks to undertake major projects that will define the future growth of our city,” General Manager Alan Eldridge said.

“Along with the many vital programs and services that have been identified for 2016/17, Council will be focusing on the continued implementation of its Fit for the Future action plan, the growth of Bomen Business Park, developing the multi-purpose stadium and increasing the city’s flood protection.

“We will also be focusing on Council’s strategic planning framework and key planning documents. A sound framework is fundamental to ensuring we continue to be sustainable and efficient in years to come.”

Other projects highlighted in the new capital works list include new playgrounds, a refurbishment of the Civic Theatre foyer and auditorium, and the Riverside – Hampden Bridge legacy project.

Included in the recurrent capital works is $1.5M for the road reseal program and nearly $3M for the road rehabilitation program.

The draft budget for 2016/17 to 2019/20 is balanced, which has been achieved though significant changes to both operational and capital budgets.

A proposed reduction of fees for the Activities on Footpath Policy will also form part of the draft plans. The reduction is in line with a Council resolution from the 29 February Ordinary Meeting, which includes no per chair charge, a reduction in application fees and other changes.

Community members can view the draft plans and give their feedback on funding priorities, projects and operations online at wagga.nsw.gov.au/ipr.

Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) 2016/17 key areas

Fit for the Future

Since being assessed as fit under the State Government’s Fit for the Future reform package, Council has been implementing the action plan submitted to IPART as part of the process.

As part of Council’s commitment to providing value for money to its ratepayers and residents, Council is continuing to work toward creating further efficiencies. In doing so, Council has put together the Fit2Perform strategy as a commitment to reducing operational expenses and creating efficiencies.  Council has created a Fit for the Future Reserve for infrastructure renewal and maintenance for high priority items. To date, Council has allocated $923,180 to this reserve.

Bomen Business Park

A key part of Bomen Business Park’s growth is the creation of the Wagga Wagga High Productivity Freight Route.

The route is already taking shape, following the Eunony Bridge Road Deviation Project in 2014-15 and the announcement of $4.9M Federal Government funding

(Bridges for Renewal Programme) for the replacement of Eunony Bridge itself.

This represents 50 per cent of the total cost and Council is continuing to finalise the remaining funding so the project can progress to construction as soon as possible.

The route will create a potential round trip saving of 36 minutes – or 21 kilometres – for Higher Mass Limits (HML) vehicles, encourage heavy vehicles to avoid the CBD and enable the proposed Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RiFL) Hub to move forward.

The Bomen Business Park and proposed High Productivity Freight Route will be transformative infrastructure for Wagga and provide significant and long-lasting benefit to current and future businesses, as well as the broader community.

Levee bank upgrade

By now, residents should be aware of Council’s application for a special rate variation (SRV) to fund Council’s one-third share of the levee bank upgrade cost.

Council expects to hear the result of the application in May. Although Council has secured $2M in State Government funding, what is needed now is a commitment that all stages of the project will be funding.

This will allow the levee upgrade to be constructed as quickly as possible and allow Council to look at additional external funding opportunities.

Stage one construction of this important project is due to begin in late 2016.

Multi-purpose stadium construction at the Exhibition Centre

Council has secured $4.4M from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s National Stronger Regions Fund.

Council’s contribution is $4.5M, along with a Wagga Netball contribution of $250,000.

Construction tender documents are currently being written, with construction expected to begin in the second quarter of the 2016/17 financial year.