16 Apr, 2021

Building a better future: Have your say on our proposed budget and infrastructure plans

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Council has endorsed the City of Adelaide Business Plan & Budget 2021 – 22 and its long term Strategic Management Plans to go out to public consultation from this Friday.

Combined, these documents outline and guide our city’s budget and investment in asset and infrastructure projects over the next 12 months and into the future.

The Draft Business Plan and Budget (BP&B) includes $269.8m in expenditure to support our city and the people we serve to recover from COVID-19 and is funded predominantly through rates, fees and charges, and grants and subsidies.

In 2021 – 22 Council will renew its focus on delivering important services and essential infrastructure to ensure that people are welcomed back into the city and that we can grow our way into recovery. Priority areas include Economic Development, Arts Culture and Events, Park Lands and Open Space, and Roads and Footpaths.

To deliver a balanced budget for 2021 – 2022 and to improve the operating position and long term financial sustainability of Council, Council has committed to find further operational efficiencies, maximise revenue opportunities, and diversify and grow its revenue streams.

Proposed borrowings will be principally utilised for major infrastructure projects, including city-shaping projects such as the development of Eighty-Eight O’Connell Street and Central Market Arcade, as well as commercially focused projects with a positive financial return on investment.

Highlights of the Business Plan and Budget 2021 - 2022 include:

  • Fair and equitable rates with a freeze of the rate in the dollar for the eighth consecutive year
  • Stimulating the city’s economy through major investments including Eighty-Eight O’Connell and the Central Market Arcade Redevelopment
  • Financial sustainability and accountability by balancing the budget and building a surplus cash position for future generations
  • Championing creative responses to the challenges of our city through ‘Splash activations’, innovative partnerships, precinct-based activations and community-led ideas
  • Activating mainstreets and developing unique precincts to support business recovery and residential growth
  • Activating the City and Park Lands through curated events and experiences that promote vibrancy, visitation and neighbourhood connections
  • Projects to increase resource recovery – addressing city waste and showing environmental leadership.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said the business plan and budget was framed around budget repair, while helping the city continue to recover from the pandemic.

“As a Council, we are taking a measured approach to our finances,” said the Lord Mayor.

“We have been very open and transparent about our finances and the impact COVID-19 has had on our bottom line.

“To build a strong foundation for long term financial sustainability, Council reviewed and reshaped its organisational structure, identifying permanent operational expenditure savings for the 2020-2021 financial year and future years.

“We have also taken a deep dive into our asset base, undertaking a strategic property review over the past few years and are well within our prudential limit for borrowing, and we need to ensure we are getting maximum return on our investments.

“At the same time, we are continuing to deliver for our community, including a number of major projects that will shape our city for generations to come, in partnership with the private sector.

“If the events of the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that we need to do things differently and be creative with how we plan and deliver services for our community.”

The business plan and budget is anchored by Council’s strategic plan outcomes of: Thriving Communities; Strong Economies; Dynamic City Culture; Environmental Leadership and outlines what will be delivered in this second year of our strategic plan.

The Draft Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) provides a ten year forecast for Council’s financial performance and assists Council in monitoring the City of Adelaide’s financial sustainability: Council’s ability to deliver services and maintain/upgrade the City’s infrastructure in a manner that is fair and equitable for current and future ratepayers.

Council has recently reviewed the LTFP as part of the 2021-2022 Business Plan and Budget process and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draft LTFP includes a forecast for Council’s proposed borrowings and expenditure to 2031 and the development of a Future Fund to support the City’s growth.

The Draft Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) guides Council’s future asset and infrastructure strategic goals and is the foundation for future Asset Management Plans.

City of Adelaide currently owns and manages approximately $2 billion worth of assets on behalf of our communities. These community assets range from significant structures such as roads and buildings through to park furniture and play equipment. These assets are a significant investment and require sound strategic management and planning.

The aim of this plan is to transform the way that the City of Adelaide manages assets to enable long[1]term sustainability. This approach will enable Adelaide to grow and prosper over the next decade without diminishing levels of service.

The community is invited to have their say on these documents and help influence how Council can financially grow and support the City’s growth in a post COVID-19 environment. Consultation on these budget and infrastructure planning documents opens on Friday 16 April.

The Draft Business Plan & Budget closes for consultation at 9 am on Monday 10 May and the Draft Long Term Financial Plan and Draft Strategic Asset Management Plan close at 9 am on Monday 31 May.

Have your say at YourSay.

For more information

Matthew Halliwell