Fremantle Council has adopted an annual budget featuring the single largest local government investment in the city’s history.
The 2018-19 budget, adopted by the council last night, included $46.3 million as the City’s contribution towards the broader Kings Square Renewal project, which includes the development of a new library, civic and community centre, upgrade of public spaces by the City and the redevelopment of the former Myer building, Queensgate building and Queensgate carpark by project partner Sirona Capital.
The 2018-19 budget also includes $920,000 for the roll-out of the new FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) waste management system, and $2.8 million to construct the new Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre.
Residential rates will rise by a modest average of 2.9 per cent, which includes a 2 per cent increase to partly fund the costs of implementing the FOGO system, including the purchase of new FOGO bins.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said this year’s budget was delivering the transformative investment that will drive Fremantle into the future, while also maintaining service delivery and keeping rate rises to a minimum.
“After years in planning and preparation, this year will see the Kings Square Renewal project really ramp up, with the bulk of the construction of the new buildings taking place,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“This is truly a once-in-a-generation project, which will completely revitalise Fremantle’s civic heart, attract thousands of new workers and residents and be the catalyst for millions of dollars of further investment.
“The FOGO roll-out will put us on track to meet our One Planet target of a 70 per cent community recycling rate by 2020, while also protecting us from long-term increases landfill costs, and the Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre will be a brilliant new facility that all Fremantle residents can enjoy.
“It’s a significant achievement that the City has been able to deliver this unprecedented level of investment and keep rate increases low, despite the substantial increases in costs through state government charges like power and water.”
The 2.9 per cent average rate increase is the second lowest since 2000. The lowest was last year’s increase of 1.5 per cent.
Total budget expenditure is $150.1 million, comprised of $57.7 million in capital expenditure, $90.7 million in operating expenditure and $1.7m in loan repayments.
Other budget highlights include:
- $2.5 million road improvement and maintenance program
- $743,000 for more CCTV
- $506,000 to refurbish Cantonment Hill Naval Store
- $280,000 for further upgrades to South Terrace
- $250,000 for internal restoration works at the Town Hall
- $110,000 to upgrade the Esplanade Youth Plaza
- $115,000 on new play equipment
- $25,000 to prepare concept plans for Fremantle Station city square and Queen Street upgrades.