Monday, June 24, 2024

Newcastle’s $330 million plans for city

Improved footpaths, new cycleways and stormwater upgrades to reduce flooding are among the projects proposed under City of Newcastle’s 2021/22 Budget, which has received strong endorsement from the community ahead of tomorrow’s Council vote.

The City will invest $330 million into Newcastle during the next financial year, delivering more than 300 projects and $90.4 million for upgrades and new infrastructure.

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes said the community had endorsed the draft Budget during its recent public exhibition, with overwhelming support for what the City had proposed for the next 12 months.

“This Budget is focussed on providing real benefits for our community in their everyday lives, whether it’s more shade on our streets and parks with $1 million to maintain and plant new trees, or making it easier for people to get around Newcastle with $2.8 million for new cycleways,” Lord Mayor Nelmes said.

“We’re investing $13.7 million to improve and maintain our roads, bridges and pathways we manage on behalf of the community, while $7.7 million will be invested into projects to address localised flooding and improve stormwater systems.

“COVID-19 has reinforced just how important it is to provide recreational opportunities close to home, so we’re continuing our investment to maintain, revitalise or construct new spaces and facilities with $9.1 million for parks, playgrounds, sporting and aquatic facilities including $4 million towards the Newcastle Ocean Baths Stage 1 upgrade.

“City of Newcastle’s 2020/21 Budget is a commitment to providing the services that make our city an attractive and inclusive place to live and work, now and into the future.”

Other highlights of the 2021/22 Budget include:

  • $11 million for waste management, including $8 million for an organics facility to compost food and green waste to reduce the city’s environmental footprint;
  • $10.5 million for environmental and sustainability projects;
  • $8.1 million for urban centre renewals including East End public domain and Wallsend and Orchardtown Road (New Lambton) local centre upgrades;
  • $5 million on transport including $3.1 million on local traffic management and pedestrian access and mobility;
  • $2 million towards preliminary works associated with the expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery.

City of Newcastle CEO, Jeremy Bath said prudent financial management had allowed this Budget to forecast a $1.2 million surplus despite COVID-19 wiping out half of the City’s annual $4 million dividend from its shared ownership of Newcastle Airport.

“A key focus of the 2021/22 Budget is to continue on the path of financial sustainability, deliver the many essential services expected of local government and invest more than $90 million in projects to improve the livelihood and wellbeing of our city,” Mr Bath said.

“We’re building on six years of stable and consistent Budgets that have protected services and local jobs and we will continue to carefully balance the needs of our community with the demands of good financial governance so we can continue to support Newcastle as it prepares for its population to hit 200,000 over the next 20 years.”

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