THE City of Perth has announced that pedestrians, cyclists, concert goers, and people attending public events in the city will be the biggest beneficiaries of its Budget for 2015-16, after it was endorsed by the council last week.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the City would deliver nearly $60 million in major capital projects in the new financial year, including the finalisation of the new City of Perth Library at Cathedral Square, the first major construction project undertaken by the City since the Concert Hall in the 1970s.
"The City of Perth is in the midst of an exciting period of growth with landmark new developments coming to completion and major works to enhance accessibility beginning," Ms Scaffidi said.
Other City of Perth capital works in 2015-16 will include:
- $3.5 million to upgrade the Perth Concert Hall;
- $4.8 million to upgrade Barrack Street and allow for two-way traffic;
- $2.5 million to redevelop the Supreme Court Gardens;
- $2.5 million to improve cycling and pedestrian thoroughfares on Roe and Railway Streets;
- $2.8 million to enhance Museum Street prioritising pedestrian access and place activation;
- $1.7 million to convert Murray Street to two-way between Elder and Thomas Streets; and
- $2 million to improve the streetscape of St George's Terrace around the new Cathedral Square precinct.
"In 2015/16, the State Government will start to hand over some of the infrastructure assets from the Elizabeth Quay and City Link projects to the City of Perth to manage," Ms Scaffidi said.
"Taking into account increasing State Government costs and the reduction in Commonwealth Government grants to Local Governments, the Council has made every effort to ensure a sustainable financial position for the City while continuing to cater for its growth," Ms Scaffidi said.
Ms Scaffidi said the City's Long Term Financial Plan indicates a return to more normal levels of cost growth in future years, as major capital projects are completed and increases in external costs, of which the City has no control over, return to normal levels.
"Capital expenditure for 2015-16 has been budgeted at $59.6 million - $12.5 million below the previous year's budget," Ms Scaffidi said.
"The City's finances are in a sound state with reserve funds available to cover any future urgent needs."
Ms Scaffidi said the recent announcement of the City of Perth Act expanding Perth's boundaries to include Kings Park and the Nedlands education and medical precincts, has been welcomed by the City of Perth, however budget impacts would not be felt until July 2016.