Bunbury City Council on Tuesday 26 July adopted its $91 million 2022/23 Budget based on a 5 per cent increase in property rates yield.
Published 27 July 2022, updated 29 July 2022
The rate increase supported by Council follows a relatively low increase of 2.5 per cent last year and a zero per cent increase the year before in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community sporting infrastructure and sustainability initiatives feature strongly in this year’s budget.
A highlight of the budget is the $9 million redevelopment of Hands Oval – partially funded through State and Federal government commitments – with a further $6 million in 2023/24 to complete the project.
Other infrastructure highlights include $3.6 million for the Forrest Park Pavilion, $325,000 for playground equipment replacement, $294,000 to replace boardwalks, lookouts and beach access stairs and $300,000 for the feasibility study and concept design of an Ocean Pool.
Aligning with the City’s climate change commitments, $2 million has been allocated to the Water Resource Recovery project (further $1.5 million in 2023/24) along with $120,000 to implement the Greening Bunbury Plan (along with $240,000 per year in future years).
Road upgrades again feature with $5.7 million for important projects such as the Withers Regional Renewal ($2.3 million), Ocean Drive realignment and widening ($1 million) and CBD road works ($1 million).
The budget also supports arts, culture and events in Bunbury with $446,000 committed to Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, $116,000 to again secure sporting and cultural events through Sports Marketing Australia and $90,000 to continue the Indigenous Arts Program at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery.
In total, the budget comprises $27.9 million in capital works, $60.4 million in operating expenditure and $2.7 million for debt reduction.
The City is confident the budgeted $400,000 shortfall will be funded through project savings and operational efficiencies throughout the 2022/23 financial year.