24 May, 2023

Budget repair at heart of new Council's first budget

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Post-COVID-19 budget repair and upgrades to city infrastructure are the centrepieces of the City of Adelaide’s Draft Business Plan & Budget (BP&B) 2023/24.

After supporting ratepayers through the COVID-19 pandemic with a raft of waived fees and charges, on top of nine years of freezing the rate in the dollar, Council recognises the importance of focusing on budget repair.

Council has made tough financial decisions so revenue can be redirected to urgent upgrades of our basic city infrastructure, including footpaths and other crucial assets.

While Council’s focus will be firmly on financially sensible decision-making and streetscape improvements, it is also committed to delivering on its promise to preserve and protect the
world-renowned Park Lands and our city’s heritage.

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith said focusing on financial responsibility means Council has the necessary funds to invest in our streets, parks, and the community.

“We now have a plan in place to ensure we have enough money to pay for main street and footpath upgrades, as well as for the city and North Adelaide’s public infrastructure,” said the Lord Mayor.

“This follows nine years of frozen rates in the dollar and four years of frozen property revaluations, and waived fees.

“An important part of this plan is rate income increases in line with calculated property valuation movements and a general fees and charges increase of 5 per cent.

"To reduce the impact of revaluations, Council is imposing a 10 per cent cap on rate rises.

“Council has supported city businesses by not charging for outdoor dining permits since 2016/17 and will reinstate these along with other fees and charges that were waived or frozen in recent years.

“Reinstated permit fees will be phased in on 1 October – allowing a transition back to charging for use of public space.”

Following last night’s endorsement by Council, the community will get an opportunity to have its say on the draft BP&B through the public consultation process commencing on Friday, 26 May.

“I look forward to the consultation process beginning so we can further discuss the issues and receive community feedback.” said the Lord Mayor.

The draft budget delivers $268 million in expenditure with highlights including:

  • More than $100 million invested in Capital Works including more than $50 million in public infrastructure renewals in 2023/24.
  • A $1.92 million return to Council’s operating surplus through a continued focus on responsible financial management.
  • Savings of more than $400,000 in 2023/24 in addition to $4.8 million in savings in 2022/23 made possible through closely reviewing ongoing operating activities.
  • More than $43 million invested in waste management, cleansing, horticulture and Park Lands.

For more information

Matt Halliwell