City of Newcastle's record Budget to deliver everyday benefits to community
More than $25.7 million will be invested into maintaining and enhancing the city's roads, bridges and footpaths as part of a record Budget unanimously adopted by Council last night.
City of Newcastle is significantly boosting its investment in essential community infrastructure in 2023/24, pouring $7.5million into its road resurfacing program and more than doubling its spending on road rehabilitation projects as part of the largest annual capital works program to date.
More than $137 million has been earmarked for investment into local facilities and infrastructure, with almost 270 projects planned across the local government area during the next financial year.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this was a financially prudent Budget balancing community needs with a forecast $6.9 million surplus.
"This Budget is focussed on providing real benefits for our community in their everyday lives, whether it's investing more than $15 million into improving our roads, spending $1.2 million to extend our city's footpath network or making it easier for people to get around Newcastle with $3.6 million for new cycleways," Cr Nelmes said.
"We recognise the important role our recreational facilities and open spaces play in the lives of our community, so we're investing $19.7 million into new and improved parks, playgrounds, sporting and aquatic facilities, including $5 million towards the new all abilities playground at Foreshore Park and $1.9 million for the playspace at Gregson Park.
"We're also committed to caring for our natural environment, with $13.5 million for environmental sustainability initiatives including $8 million towards planning and protecting our coastline, estuaries and wetlands, $1.5 million towards street tree planting projects and $1 million for upgrades at Blackbutt Reserve.
"City of Newcastle’s 2023/24 Budget will meet the expectations of our community while still following a path of financial stability to ensure our city remains an attractive and inclusive place to live, work and visit, now and into the future.”
Other highlights of the 2023/24 Budget include:
- $41.2 million to be invested in four City Shaping projects including the expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery, remediation of the former landfill at Sandgate, and construction of waste diversion facilities at Summerhill Waste Management Centre
- $7.5 million to improve our inland pools and ocean baths, including the Newcastle Ocean Baths stage one upgrade and the Lambton Pool grandstand upgrade in time for the swim season
- $6.9 million for urban and city centre revitalisation projects including the next stage of the East End upgrade in the Hunter Street Mall, and Local Centre upgrades at New Lambton
- $4.9 million to improve our stormwater network to address localised flooding
- $4.4 million to support our waste management
- $4.2 million towards the replacement of the Boscawen Street Bridge as part of plans to reduce the risk of flooding in the Wallsend CBD
- $2 million to continue works to beautify and improve access along Bathers Way.
City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said prudent financial management will deliver a second consecutive surplus budget without compromising the Council's capacity to maintain services and meet community commitments.
"During 2023–2024, we will invest almost $377 million into our city, delivering key services and infrastructure that ensure Newcastle is a liveable, sustainable, inclusive global city," Mr Bath said.
"Our record $137 million infrastructure program continues to deliver essential projects for the benefit of our community, yet despite the economic challenges of inflationary pressure and the high cost of living, we are continuing to build on our past financial management to deliver an improved Budget surplus of $6.9 million in 2023/24."