Focus on asset improvement in Council’s draft Operational Plan

Queanbeyan City Council will spend $4.7m on maintenance and upgrades to Queanbeyan’s road network under the draft Operational Plan 2016-17 which will be released for public comment on 29 April.

The draft Operational Plan, which includes Council’s draft budget for 2016-17, features a capital works program worth $23m which is highlighted by road, sewer and water maintenance and upgrades and the redevelopment of Council’s administration building in Crawford St into a modern, lettable complex.

“This draft Operational Plan represents the final year of the elected Council’s four-year Delivery Program and Council has committed to achieving the majority of commitments we made in that Delivery Program,” Queanbeyan Mayor, Cr Tim Overall said.

“There is a strong emphasis in this draft Operational Plan on improving our road, water and sewer assets, along with the final stage of funding for the exciting CBD Improvements - Stage 2 project.

“It is very pleasing to see $2.25m in the draft budget for the sealing of the final section of Wanna Wanna Rd. This project has been on the radar of residents and Council for a number of years and a combination of Council and State Government funding will allow the final 3km section of the road to be sealed.

“Aside from capital projects, the draft budget also includes the development of a Transport Strategy, a range of economic development projects, the painting of a mural on the pillars of the Queens Bridge and traffic studies and reviews in Collett St by a hired traffic engineer.”

The draft budget presented for public comment shows a small deficit of $286,995 for the financial year. This deficit is considered manageable due to expected savings from the 2015-16 financial year and a number of projects set to progress only if grant funding is obtained.

“As with most years, developing the 2016-17 draft budget was a challenge for councillors and staff, however we have produced a budget which delivers projects and programs for the entire Local Government Area,” Cr Overall said.

“As per instructions from the NSW Government, this budget has been developed based on Queanbeyan City Council operating as a standalone entity in 2016-17. Any upcoming merger announcements will be accommodated in the 2017-18 budget process.”

Council’s draft budget was impacted by rate peg limit being set at 1.8% by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. This 1.8% increase is set to deliver $428,000 in additional funding for the general fund, however that was offset by a 2.8% increase for all employees under the Local Government State Award 2014 which is expected to cost $628,000 across the general, water, sewer and waste operations.

The draft Operational Plan, along with Council’s draft Revenue Policy and Schedule of Fees and Charges is on public exhibition until from 29 April until 27 May and can be viewed on Council’s website