Exciting 2020/21 budget adopted
Posted 7 months ago
Council has adopted an exciting investment program that will see the delivery of infrastructure, services, projects and initiatives across the fastest growing local government area in Australia.
The $336 million 2020/21 Operational Plan (budget) will also see the delivery of Council’s $16.8 million COVID-19 support package, for residents and local businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.
It will also see the delivery of a $178 million Capital Works Program, including the continuation of a $5.1 million Community Infrastructure Renewal Program (CIRP), as well as a budget surplus of almost $2 million reinvested into the community.
Mayor of Camden, Cr Theresa Fedeli, said she was proud Council could produce an exciting budget whilst going through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Council has over many years demonstrated strong financial management, which has allowed Council to support its community with a $16.8 million COVID-19 support package whilst continuing to maintain our service levels and projects across the area,” Cr Fedeli said.
“This budget shows Council’s focus on expanding and developing our newest suburbs whilst also enhancing established areas.”
Over the next two years, more than $51 million will be spent on community infrastructure projects. These include:
- Herbert Rivulet Drainage Land Purchase – $4.2 million;
- Council Works Depot Redevelopment Stage One and Two – $4.8 million;
- Nott Oval Synthetic Football Pitch – $2.8 million;
- Ferguson Land – Bridge Construction and Cricket Facility – $8.35 million;
- Narellan Sports Hub Stage Two – $17.3 million;
- Design Leppington to Byron Roads (Ingleburn to Bringelly) – $7.6 million; and
- Design Ingleburn Road, Leppington (Rickard Road to Eastwood Road) – $6.7 million.
Other major projects that have been completed during this Delivery Program period include:
- Harrington Park youth facility – $1.14 million;
- Sedgewick Reserve youth facility – $1.36 million;
- Curry Reserve water play facility – $2.5 million;
- Oran Park Library – $13.7 million;
- Camden Town Centre Upgrade Stage Three – $3.4 million;
- Camden Town Centre Upgrade Stage Four – $3.6 million;
- Camden Valley Way/Macarthur Road Intersection Upgrade – $4.95 million;
- Graham Hill Road/Richardson Road Upgrade – $3.9 million;
- Spring Farm Community Facility – $3 million;
- Kirkham BMX – $1.7 million;
- Kirkham Park Playing Fields – $1.8 million;
- Bandara Circuit Playground – $1 million;
- Howard Park – $1.9 million;
- Julia Reserve Community Centre – $10.6 million;
- Julia Reserve Skate Park – $3.5 million;
- Catherine Park Sporting Fields – $5.1 million;
- Catherine Park Community Facility – $2.2 million; and
- Ron’s Creek Waterplay, Youth and Passive Space – $1.54 million (nearing completion).
As part of Council’s COVID-19 support package, residents and local businesses will receive support in three stages over six months. Stage One and Two, which is currently underway, includes:
- Rate relief for all rateable properties, with $4 million committed. Council will:
- Provide a one-off $100 rates and charges rebate for the 2020/21 rating year for all rateable properties within the Camden area;
- Waive the interest due on overdue rate notices for residents experiencing hardship for a period of up to 12 months; and
- Remove red tape and requirement for a hardship application.
- The reimbursement of payments to Council and relaxation of cancellation policies for community groups and individuals using Council’s facilities, spaces and services. So far, Council has made refunds to the value of $15,000;
- A digital portal for support information and services for community and businesses adversely effected by COVID-19;
- Digital media campaigns to support local businesses and to boost positivity in the community;
- Council staff members volunteering at Lifeline;
- Digital and contactless home delivery of library programs and services for Camden residents who used to attend regular programming and vulnerable groups needing social engagement;
- A $350,000 commitment to freeze increases to domestic waste charges;
- Business grants, with $350,000 committed thus far. These grants include:
- Quick Response Grants of up to $2,000 for businesses struggling to meet their short-term operational commitments;
- Digital Adaptation and Innovation Grants of up to $15,000 for small businesses who are trying to adjust their operations in response to COVID-19; and
- Community Response Grants of up to $15,000 for organisations and not for profit organisations providing on-the-ground services to Camden residents;
- A commitment to a six-month waiver of some non-statutory fees for business and residents using Council services;
- Businesses currently leasing Council facilities, with an annual income of up to $50 million, will receive a 50 per cent reduction in rent, with $180,000 committed thus far;
- A commitment of an additional $11.4 million to accelerate the delivery of a number of infrastructure projects from the 2020/21 Capital Works Program, to be completed by 31 December 2020;
- Altering Council’s procurement process to introduce a Local Preference Policy and a Local Vendor Panel; and
- The digital delivery of Alan Baker Art Gallery programs and exhibition.
Stage Three, or the recovery phase of the package, will be tailored in coming weeks, once the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the Camden community becomes clearer. It will include a mix of major projects, events, grants and financial support for business and community groups.
The 2017/18-2020/21 Delivery Program and 2020/21 Operational Plan (Budget) can be viewed on Council’s website www.camden.nsw.gov.au