Councillors to vote on budget consultation
Published on 28 April 2023
A capital works programme worth more than $20.4 million headlines the City of Launceston's draft annual budget for the 2023-24 financial year.
Launceston Mayor Danny Gibson said that figure is somewhat lower than previous years as the Council continues to manage inflationary pressures as well as limited contractor availability.
Councillors will consider sending the proposed budget out to the community for a four-week public consultation period at next Thursday's ordinary Council meeting.
Mayor Gibson said the Council's proposed expenditure of $136 million for the 2023/24 financial year includes significant spending on the municipality's recreational facilities roads and traffic maintenance and improvements as well as $1.4 million for a new playground at City Park and renewal of the ever-popular duck ponds.
Other significant inclusions in Council's proposed Capital Works program for 2023/24 include:
- Major Plant Replacement Purchases - $1.61 million
- Road Reseal Program - $1.6 million
- Alexandra Suspension Bridge Stage 2 - $1.5 million
- Roads Reconstruction Program - $1.415 million
- Princess Theatre and Earl Arts Centre Redevelopment - $1.2 million
- Footpath Reconstruction Program - $1.02 million
- Addition of a new Pump Track - $500,000
- Roads Network Extensions - $500,000
- Launceston Aquatic Centre works (including gym equipment upgrades and pool plant and equipment renewal) - $440,000
- Street Tree Strategy and Urban Implementation - $400,000
- Sport Facility Renewal Program - $300,000
- Community Halls Renewal Program - $300,000
- YMCA Upgrade - $250,000
- Royal Park Amenities Upgrade - $250,000
- Christmas Tree and Decorations - $115,000
- Royal Park Skate Park Upgrade - $20,000
Mayor Gibson said the Council was budgeting for a small underlying surplus of $928,000 - a return to surplus two years sooner than originally expected - on the back of a proposed rate increase of 4.5 per cent.
"Obviously this is a challenging time for number of councils across Tasmania and right around the country, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) running particularly high at 7.7 per cent," Mayor Gibson said.
"The businesses we deal with on a daily basis are passing on those costs to us so that's something as a Council we have to be conscious and mindful of at all times."
Mayor Gibson said there were proposed increases for waste management due to cost increases associated with the collection and disposal of landfill, recycling and FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics).
"This increase is tied to factors such as the price of fuel, CPI pressures, as well as Council's Sustainable Pricing Model," Mayor Gibson said.
"Ultimately it's important that we always seek to balance the challenges faced by our community with the need to maintain the wide array of services and facilities our community relies on.
"With a proposed rate increase significantly below CPI, and a capital works program aimed at maintaining and upgrading existing assets, the Council has attempted to strike this balance at a time when many households are facing cost of living pressures and we think this budget achieves just that."