Sunday, May 26, 2024

Darwin budget released for feedback

City of Darwin Council’s draft 2024/25 Municipal Plan, which features a budget commitment of $141 million to deliver services and initiatives that directly benefit the community, has been released for public comment.

The Council says the budget aims to deliver a cleaner, greener and more vibrant and inclusive city and includes a $61.1 million investment in a comprehensive capital works program will enhance liveability in Darwin and stimulate the local economy. 

Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis said the draft Municipal Plan provided initiatives that directly benefit the community, including further greening, funding opportunities, and investments in sport and recreation.

“Highlights of the plan include a $1 million commitment to revitalising suburban playgrounds, as well as a $500,000 investment towards planning, consultation and design for a multigenerational playground in the Waters Ward,” Mr Vatskalis said. 

“The 50th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy will see a $700,000 investment into a commemorative program, including the installation of a kinetic monument at Bundilla Beach that will be the first of its kind in the Territory.

“In the Darwin city centre, we will deliver works to revitalise our footpaths, shared pathways and outdoor areas, as well as streetscaping revitalisation projects in Chapel Lane, Cavenagh Street and Smith Street.

“We are also excited about the opening of the $26.8 million Casuarina Aquatic and Leisure Centre in mid-2024 and the commencement of transformational works to the Bundilla Beach area, guided by an extensive community engagement process,” he said.

Additional highlights of the 2024/25 Municipal Plan include:

  • $61.1M capital works program 
  • $25.8M for waste management operations and investment 
  • $9.5M for maintaining our parks 
  • $8.1M for connectivity and accessibility, including roads and path networks 
  • $4.5M for libraries 
  • $3.2M for tree planting and maintenance 
  • $2M for arts and culture 
  • $1.9M animal management program 
  • $1.6M in community funding through sponsorships and grants 
  • $1.34M sport and recreation investment 
  • $950K for Better Suburbs projects. 

“We are very proud of our vibrant, thriving and inclusive city, and have worked hard to create a Municipal Plan that delivers for the community,” Mr Vatskalis said.

“We know that delivering community infrastructure is important to residents, so we have almost doubled our funding for the Better Suburbs projects to improve streetscapes and public amenity across Darwin.

“We will continue to support Darwin’s creative industry through our sponsorship and grants programs and annual events and activations calendar, which provides free events for the community to enjoy, such as the Bombing of Darwin, the Christmas Pageant and a variety of free events for young people.

“We know that safety is important so we will continue to invest in public lighting across the municipality, as well as installing more CCTV and traffic management measures to ensure public wellbeing.

“We will also redevelop the Civic Centre, which will include community spaces such as a library and town hall, as well as provide more public parking spaces within the city centre,” he said.

A 4% general rate, which equates to an approximate increase of $1.35 per week for the average residential property, is proposed in the plan.

The community is encouraged to provide feedback on City of Darwin’s draft 2024/25 Municipal Plan by Thursday 23 May 2024.

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