No increase in residential or commercial rates, $25M toward the redevelopment of Casuarina Pool, $3.8M allocated to tree planting and beautification and a doubling of the Disaster Contingency Reserve to $2M are some of the key initiatives in City of Darwin’s record $71.77M 2020/21 Budget. In response to COVID-19 City of Darwin has allocated $7M to aid in recovery, with $4M for an expanded Hardship Policy and $3M for Ward Projects. Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said “This year’s Budget builds on the unprecedented infrastructure spend in our 2019/20 Budget of $54M, incorporating projects designed to improve the amenity of our streetscapes, support our community and achieve Council’s vision of a ‘City of Colour’.” Other key infrastructure projects included in the 2020/21 Budget include $15.5M for upgrades at the Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility, $3M to improve road networks, $1.6M for construction, refurbishment and development of path networks and $500k toward street and public lighting. With the arts industry in Darwin negatively impacted by COVID-19, City of Darwin is providing support with $1.6M allocated to sponsorships, grants and operating subsidies for community events, festivals and not-for-profit organisations, and the allocation of $100k for public art development.
Employee costs have been kept at 2019/20 levels, reflecting Council's commitment to hold overall recruitment, with materials and contracts also kept at similar levels to 2019/20, whilst maintaining service delivery standards.
With total assets valued at $1.0B, City of Darwin is committed to implementing its Asset Management Framework and Plans in the 2020/21 financial year, which aim to identify further opportunities for savings and improved efficiencies. Operating expenditure is $122.0M and operating income $106.8M, representing similar levels to last previous years. “This record capital budget includes investments in major projects across the municipality,” said Lord Mayor Vatskalis. “Council commitments outlined to in this Budget will underpin our economy and provide employment opportunities – which are so important right now.”
“I continue to be passionate about the beautification and greening of our city and I’m delighted to announce significant funding in this area again in 2020/21.” “This is an exciting time for Darwin and for Council,” concluded Lord Mayor Vatskalis “our Draft 2020/21 Municipal Plan and Budget represents a significant investment in our local economy, providing a strong foundation for Darwin’s long-term future as we recover from COVID-19.” Council will continue to collaborate and partner with the Northern Territory and Federal Governments, peak industry groups and key stakeholders to address and resolve challenges in a positive and productive way for the betterment of the community.
The DRAFT 2020/21 City of Darwin Municipal Plan was endorsed at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 2 June 2020 and is available for public display and submissions from Wednesday 3 June 2020 to Friday 26 June 2020, a period of 23 days.
All feedback will be considered by Council in adopting of the final 2020/21 Municipal Plan at the Ordinary Council Meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday 7 July 2020. The Rates Declaration and adoption of the Annual Budget will also occur at this meeting.
For more information go to: https://www.darwin.nt.gov.au/municipal-plan-2020
To provide feedback on the 2020/21 Draft Municipal Plan and Budget go to: https://engage.darwin.nt.gov.au/draftmp2020-21