Town of Gawler release latest draft budget and business plan

Photo: File
Photo: File

The community is invited to have their say on Town of Gawler's 2019/20 draft budget and business plan which was released to the public on Wednesday, May 15.

According to Mayor Karen Redman, the council has developed "a sound and financially responsible" draft budget.

"Being a major growth council we face many challenges, not least the demand to increase and/or expand services and capital investment," she said.

Ms Redman said the council is mindful for the need to keep general rate increases low as possible, while also having to consider the long-term financial aspirations and sustainability.

"The council is proposing an increase in general rates from existing ratepayers of three per cent, which translates to a $0.90 per week increase for the average residential ratepayer," she said.

Based on the favourable financial performance of the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA), which is a subsidiary of Gawler, Salisbury and Playford councils, the draft budget provides for no increase in the individual property kerbside waste management collection/disposal service of $186.

"Consistent with our financial targets, the council is estimating a small operating surplus of $89,000, and a net capital works investment of $8.4 million."

Key projects that are proposed to be undertaken include:

  • Expansion of the hard-waste trial undertaken for pensioners in 2018/19 to all residents
  • Upgrade of the Gawler Aquatic Centre changerooms ($539,000), which is subsidised by a Federal Government grant of $409,000
  • Transformation of the Walker Place precinct in the Town Centre ($2.12m), which is subsidised by a State Government grant of $1m, incorporating a shared-use public plaza space (works to include installation of trees and seating, paving, improved lighting, replacement of the Julian Tce public conveniences, and installation of a stand-alone digital wayfinding smartboard)
  • Installation of new public lighting ($231,500) at the footbridges along the Gawler Rivers linear (Tapa Pariara) path, the Willaston Oval carpark, and the Dog Park / Fitness Trail adjacent Clonlea Reserve
  • 1.5kms of new footpaths ($207,000)
  • 6.6kms of road resealing (sealed roads) ($905,000)
  • 1.2kms of road resheeting (unsealed roads) ($140,000)
  • Replacement of the main stadium floor at the Gawler Sport Community Centre ($155,000)
  • Replacement of irrigation system at Princes Park ($109,000)
  • Karbeethan Reserve Master Plan Feasibility Study ($110,000)
  • Murray Street Stage 7 Project: between the Gawler Mill Inn Bridge and the intersection with Seventh /Tenth Street (subject to Federal Government grant funding being received for 50 per cent of the estimated project cost) ($1,776,000). If council is successful with its grant funding application, council's 50 per cent share will be funded via the temporary deferral of other identified road infrastructure projects

In 2019/20, council will need to pay the state government $2.4 million as council's contribution towards the upgrade of Potts Road as part of the Gawler East Link Road construction, as it become a council owned/managed road on completion in early 2020.

"Excluding the extraordinary $2.4 million payment obligation to the State Government for Potts Road upgrade, council's capital works program of $6 million is being funded within council's own financial resources with no external loan borrowings," she said.

One of council's key financial aspirations is to extensively reduce debt over coming years.

The aim, Ms Redman says, is so council can incrementally rebuild future borrowing capacity to fund its next major strategic asset investment projects, such as a Regional Aquatic facility and the redevelopment of Karbeethan Reserve.