THE City of Wanneroo has kept its overall average rates increase in 2019-20 to 1.8 per cent, in what Mayor Tracey Roberts said was the council’s lowest increase in a decade.
On Friday, June 28 the council voted to adopt a Budget Cr Roberts said provided excellent value for money, while also recognising the difficult financial climate the council, along with its residents, was experiencing.
“This year’s residential rate rise equates to an average of 45c a week, and ensures the city continues to deliver services and facilities to enable communities to connect, thrive and prosper,’’ she said.
“Our capital works focus on high quality, long term investments to build sustainable and vibrant communities (so) environmental conservation, park enhancements, road upgrades and sporting facilities are a large portion of the expenditure.’’
For the North Coast ward the Budget includes $7 million for Halesworth Park (formerly known as Butler North District Open Space), which will deliver more sporting and recreational opportunities for a range of sports.
“The complex will include two floodlit multipurpose turf playing ovals, 16 multi-use hardcourts and an amenities building, cricket nets, a sports pavilion with change rooms, a dual-use running track, picnic facilities and children’s play area,’’ she said.
Also in the Budget is $2.1m to address erosion along the Quinns Beach coastline (stage three).
This will continue including the extension of groyne three, near the intersection of Camira Way and Ocean Dr and extensive beach renourishment works.
Yanchep will benefit from $680,000 (including $450,000 from the state government) for a new skate park at Splendid Park with construction due to start in December or January and to be completed by mid-2020.
Included in the Budget is $3.2m for upgrading Connolly Dr between Lukin Dr to Benenden Ave to a dual carriageway and $9.3m for upgrading Marmion Ave to a dual carriageway from Butler Bvd to Yanchep Beach Rd.
For the Central ward the Budget includes $750,000 for the city’s vision for Neerabup Industrial Area, which is for a business and technology park that will generate local employment for up to 20,000 people.
Cr Roberts said works during 2019-20 would include subdivision engineering design, resource extraction and earthworks, environmental studies and reports, renewable energy supply feasibility studies and a water supply engineering study.
North Coast ward councillor Linda Aitken said the council had juggled maximising services while managing to keep rates to a minimum.
Central ward councillor Paul Miles said his commitment at the 2017 council election had been to maintain rates at or around inflation, which the council had achieved last year and this year.
He said the council had also been mindful to keep business rates at the inflation rate as well keeping in mind the struggling economy.
“The Premier Mark McGowan said yesterday that councils should look to the government as an example keep fees and charges down however in the State Budget in May the state government handed down increases which drove a number of increases to fees and charges,’’ he said.
Of note power prices have increased by a further 6 per cent and water by 6 per cent and motor vehicle licensing costs 2 per cent.
“So we could have done better if they remained at inflation rates.
“As a local government we have also had to allow for coastal erosion and put aside $2 million dollars – I believe it’s time for state governments to take (over) responsibility at a state level and WALGA should be pushing that cause.’’