Fremantle budget focuses on the fundamentals | City of Fremantle

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29 June 2023
Fremantle budget focuses on the fundamentals
  • Increased spend on necessary maintenance of City’s $450m of assets
  • Footpath, drainage and building works programs boosted
  • New investments in increased accessibility, provisions for new parking, and upgrades to Fremantle Arts Centre

Fixing footpaths, unclogging drains and improving building maintenance are key features of the City of Fremantle’s 2023-24 budget.

The new budget, adopted by Fremantle Council last night, increases maintenance and renewal expenditure throughout the city and suburbs as well as continuing to deliver exciting projects for Fremantle.

Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the budget was pragmatic and was bringing revenues in line with the necessary maintenance and renewal needs of the city and suburbs.

“The City of Fremantle has $450 million of assets, which include 111 buildings, 179km of roads, 273km of footpaths and 97km of drainage,” she said.

“Inflationary pressures and aging assets mean we need to adjust revenues so we can head off major problems in the future by increasing planned maintenance.

“This is a practical budget that focuses on the behind-the-scenes work that helps make our city and suburbs more liveable and will help attract new residents.”

The budget also begins addressing the $10 million needed each year for asset renewal.

The state government recommends spending between 90 and 110 per cent of the value of an asset’s depreciation on renewal.

Revenue has been increased through an average nine per cent rate rise and the recovery of discretionary revenue sources such as parking and property. There are no new borrowings in the budget.

New investments in the 2023-24 budget include provisions for more parking in the city centre, improving accessibility at South Beach and the Fremantle Leisure Centre, increasing the spend on greening the city and suburbs, a master plan for a new sporting and community precinct at Hilton Park reserve, improvements to the arts centre, and increases in community youth funding and support.

Funding for a new City Plan to drive residential population growth is also in the budget.

The plan will create a new vision for the city and provide a roadmap for ongoing city renewal projects and potential partnership opportunities for key development sites.

City of Fremantle salaries have also increased in line with wage pressures across the economy.

“The City of Fremantle must stay competitive if we are going to attract and retain the kinds of employees that help our City function at the highest level,” Mayor Fitzhardinge said.

“This budget is about investing back in our community assets and staff and underpins the ongoing $1.8 billion of private and public investment in Fremantle.

“Although we are increasing our focus on the fundamentals, we still have a lot of exciting projects already underway that are included in this budget.

“The new South Beach changerooms and associated landscaping will create a facility and space that will serve generations to come.

“We’re progressing new facilities at the Fremantle Public Golf Course, aligned with the Booyeembara Park master plan and building on the success of the new Mountain Bike Trails, to help create the vision for a regional community facility that is valued by all.

“New lighting at Walyalup Koort and along Henderson Street are in the works as well as the dune reestablishment and revegetation at Port Beach following the ground-breaking sand nourishment project.

“North Fremantle Bowling Club is getting an upgrade with necessary building maintenance works so the facility can again be enjoyed by all.”

New budget highlights:

  • More than $243,000 increase in funding for road, footpath and drainage programs.
  • Planned building maintenance increased by $260,000.
  • $30,000 for youth grants and $20,000 for a youth plan.
  • $40,000 for a city urban design plan to help increase density responsibly and map out other land uses.
  • $2 million for provision of additional parking in the CBD.
  • $780,000 for the Hilton Park reserve master plan to guide the creation of a new cohesive sporting and community precinct.
  • $50,000 for beach matting to improve accessibility at South Beach.
  • $17,500 for portable steps at Fremantle Leisure Centre.
  • More than $230,000 on lighting, air conditioning and maintenance at the Fremantle Arts Centre.