Kar­ratha in­come fore­cast to fall

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The City of Kar­ratha will take a $4 mil­lion hit to its bot­tom line af­ter coun­cil­lors adopted the 201718 bud­get this month, with an aim to im­prove ser­vices, de­liver in­fra­struc­ture projects and plan for the fu­ture.

The net in­come for the new fi­nan­cial year is fore­cast to fall from $27.7 mil­lion in 2016-17 to $23.47 mil­lion. It is nearly $10m lower than the 2015-16 bud­get.

While rev­enue is fore­cast to grow by $1.6 mil­lion to $96.7 mil­lion, largely on the back of a higher in­take of fees and charges, the $14 mil­lion con­tract to pur­chase The Quar­ter will blow fore­cast ex­penses out to $99.1 mil­lion.

Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said rev­enue gen­er­ated from the The Quar­ter and other al­ter­na­tive in­come streams would re­duce the bud­getary re­liance on rates.

“Coun­cil in­vest­ments like The Quar­ter have the abil­ity to gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cantly higher fi­nan­cial re­turns than what can be achieved through bank term de­posits, pro­vid­ing a sus­tain­able long-term rev­enue source,” he said.

“The Quar­ter cur­rently gen­er­ates ap­prox­i­mately dou­ble what coun­cil pre­vi­ously earned from term de­posits and re­cent new ten­ants en­sure this re­turn will con­tinue to in­crease.

“We know a lot of peo­ple and busi­nesses are still do­ing it tough so this year we have opted for the min­i­mum in­crease which would still al­low coun­cil to de­liver im­por­tant com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices.”

Among in­fra­struc­ture projects to be funded this fi­nan­cial year are the com­ple­tion of the Red Earth Arts Fa­cil­ity, con­struc­tion of the Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub and wa­ter play­ground ($16 mil­lion), Roe­bourne Aquatic Cen­tre up­grades ($1.3 mil­lion), Leisure­plex gym ex­pan­sion ($700,000), Re­de­vel­op­ment of Point Sam­son Com­mu­nity Hall carpark ($500,000), up­grades to Hear­son Cove fa­cil­i­ties ($250,000) and in­stal­la­tion of light­ing at Dreamer’s Hill ($120,000).

Mr Long said the bud­get struck a bal­ance be­tween en­hanc­ing lo­cal ser­vices and amenity and fa­cil­i­tat­ing eco­nomic growth.

Mr Long said fund­ing would go to im­prov­ing the stan­dard “grass­roots” ser­vices, such as recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, roads, foot­paths, waste man­age­ment, parks and gar­dens.

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