East Pil­bara adopts lat­est bud­get

North West Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

The Shire of East Pil­bara has adopted its 2017-18 bud­get with a strong fo­cus on com­mu­nity events, im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture, and driv­ing growth.

The bud­get in­cludes an over­all op­er­at­ing rev­enue of $46,565,200, with $4,243,600 al­lo­cated to com­mu­nity ameni­ties.

Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Allen Cooper said the author­ity would con­tinue to host events around the newly re­vamped town cen­tre.

“We’re con­tin­u­ing along the well­be­ing av­enue with a lot of sup­port for tourism,” he said. “By hav­ing things like the Town Square, which bring peo­ple around the Town Cen­tre, we hope to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses around the town.”

The open­ing of The Square in July sig­ni­fied the com­ple­tion of the fi­nal stage of the New­man Town Cen­tre Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion Plan, which has been in plan­ning since 2002.

Up­grades to New­man Aquatic Cen­tre were also a key project in the bud­get, with the fi­nal touches ex­pected to be com­pleted soon.

The Shire has al­lo­cated $345,000 to­wards the pool up­grades, and re­ceived a $50,000 com­mu­nity chest fund grant through the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

The Shire saved a lit­tle less than $1 mil­lion on em­ployee costs in the pre­vi­ous bud­get, with $10,932,174 spent out of $11,928,400 al­lo­cated.

Mr Cooper ex­plained the op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture in the 2017-18 bud­get had in­creased to $12,008,600 as a num­ber of po­si­tions had been left va­cant in the last 12 months.

“We haven’t re­duced the work­force, we have been try­ing to em­ploy more peo­ple,” he said.

Mr Cooper said about $1.2 mil­lion was spent on road plants and equip­ment each year to en­sure pop­u­lar routes were safe.

Ac­cess roads set to re­ceive up­grades in­clude Ki­wirrkurra Road, Punmu ac­cess, Talawana Track, Jupiter Well Ac­cess, and Desert Road.

Shire of East Pil­bara pres­i­dent Lynne Craigie en­cour­aged res­i­dents to look at the bud­get.

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