Council yesterday endorsed the Budget & Delivery Program for 2021-22, which will see a record $125 million invested in capital works for roads, footpaths, cycleways, floodway mitigation, new surf clubs and playgrounds.
The delivery program and budget sets out the work Council will carry out over the next four years to address community priorities and needs.
While on public exhibition for a month, the draft program and budget attracted a wide range of submissions from the community.
Mayor Michael Regan said due to prudent financial management, Council could deliver a $473 million balanced budget with a strong focus on investing in new and improved community infrastructure as well as pay down another $5 million of debt.
“Like most NSW councils, Northern Beaches saw a revenue decline in the last year due to the impact from COVID-19,” Cr Regan said.
“However, due to compassionate measures Council put in place we were able to help those most impacted by the pandemic and maintain our strong financial position.
“That strong position allows us to push ahead with important infrastructure works that will contribute to strong community growth, resilience and set us up for a secure future.
“This includes new surf clubs at Mona Vale and Long Reef, new and renewed playgrounds at Clontarf Reserve, Little Manly Point, Griffith and Jacka parks, new public amenities at Shelly Beach, Forestville Town Centre and Porters Reserve, multiple upgrades to our shopping villages and many kilometres of resurfaced roads and new and renewed footpaths.”
Mayor Regan said the good news is that 76 per cent of Northern Beaches residents will see a reduction in their rates next financial year due to the rates harmonisation process.
“Even after the NSW Government compelled amalgamated councils to ‘harmonise’ their rates, Northern Beaches was able to reduce its rates for the majority of ratepayers.
“Council has adopted a responsible budget for uncertain times which sustains service levels and invests in community infrastructure.
“The pensioner concession is now at the most generous level of the former three Council areas and the harmonised stormwater charge will ensure we can upgrade ageing stormwater infrastructure to prevent flooding and keep our waterways clean.
“The 2021/2022 Budget is a sustainable budget that seeks to build on existing initiatives to support recovery from COVID-19 and to prioritise significant long-term infrastructure projects that will enhance the liveability of our community,” Mayor Regan said.
Community infrastructure highlights:
- $10.6m: resurface 13km roads, renew 2km & build 6km new footpaths
- $5.7m: cycleways
- $16.1m: new surf club buildings at Mona Vale and Long Reef, and upgrades to others
- $9.6m: stormwater works to reduce flooding and pollution
- $7.8m: improving pedestrian safety in school zones
- $8.6m: start Warriewood Valley community centre
- $2.9m: open space and transport in Warriewood Valley
- $1.5m: improving the Coast Walk trail, plus $1.3m on public art on the trail
- $3.2m: wharves at Mackerel and Currawong beaches, and design for Church Point wharf
- $2.6m: Church Point and surrounding infrastructure
- $2.8m: coastal protection at Collaroy-Narrabeen
- $2.8m: protecting other foreshores and related structures
- $2.5m: improving commercial centres at Forestville, Church Point, Dee Why, West Esplanade
- $2.1m: public amenities at Shelly Beach, Little Manly Point, Forestville Town Centre and Porters Reserve
- $2.2m: upgrade to Duffys Forest RFS Station, Marine Rescue Broken Bay and other emergency buildings
- $1.9m: improving sports fields
- $1.7m: on playgrounds at Clontarf Reserve, Little Manly Point, Griffith Park Collaroy, Jacka Park Freshwater and planning for Trafalgar Park Newport
- $1.9m: improving sports fields
- $0.8m: improving Paradise Beach and other tidal and rockpools