Karratha income forecast to fall
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.