Budget delivers for the community

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Inner West Council is delivering on key commitments made in the recent local government elections in its 2022 - 2023 Budget.

Councillor Mark Drury said this year’s budget fulfills the promises made to the Inner West community.

“We have set aside money for a greener, healthier Inner West, for dramatically improved main streets, for better interactions between us and our residents and even more support for our arts and creative industries,” he said.

“Importantly, this Budget is focused on the continued delivery of valuable local services – maintaining and improving infrastructure and building new facilities for us all to enjoy.

“That’s why we have set aside $243.5 million for local services and $176.3 million for infrastructure,” Councillor Drury said.

He said having uniformly excellent community sports grounds across the Inner West was a priority.

“We aim to have the same high-quality standard of playing surface, lighting and amenity on every community sports ground from Balmain to Tempe and Croydon to Camperdown and on every sports ground in between.

“Council has reviewed all our sporting fields, and in this 22/23 financial year we will publish a ten-year program of upgrades as part of our Recreation Strategy.”

Towards a greener and healthier Inner West:

• Council will spend $9.8m over next two financial years on improvements to Easton Park, Camdenville Park, Steel Park, Mackey Park, Hammond Park and HJ Mahoney Reserve, including over $2.9 million on upgrading King George Park this year

• $1.9 million for sports lighting upgrade, as part of the second phase of Tempe Reserve Upgrade

• Commence the $8.5 million Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre upgrade

• $880,000 on construction of a new park in Ashfield

• $3 million towards cycleways

• Over $2 million on the street tree program to help cool Inner West suburbs

• $10.6 million towards completing the GreenWay ‘missing links’

Improving Main Streets:

Councillor Drury said Council’s budget has a renewed emphasis on improving and revitalising Main Streets.

“Our total expenditure on Main Streets will exceed $14 million over the next two financial years. This is just a ‘down payment’ on our much more ambitious Main Street Rejuvenation program which will change the face and feel of each of our main streets,” he said.

• Over $7 million on main street initiatives in Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Lewisham, Stanmore and Summer Hill and Balmain

• $1 million on developing a Main Street strategy, working with community and business owners and focusing on infrastructure improvements, business development, arts and cultural activities and ongoing maintenance

Improving customer service and increasing support for arts and creative industries:

“Before the election we also pledged that we would dramatically improve the way people interact with Council and push ahead with more support for the arts and creative industries,” Council Drury said.

“This is why we have commenced our regular Local Matters Forums, commenced mobile Customer Service Stalls and this year will develop and implement a Customer Service Charter.

“And why we are converting Marrickville Town Hall into a multicultural live music, performing arts and cultural centre,” Councillor Drury said.

Ensuring Council’s financial sustainability:

Council’s long-term financial position is dedicated to budget repair, according to Councillor Drury.

“This year’s relatively small deficit is mainly the result of continuing NSW Government cost-shifting and rate caps which are significantly lower than increases in material and staff costs. But we have a realistic plan to get back into surplus in the next financial year and stay in surplus,” he said.

From 2023/24 financial year, Council is forecasting a surplus of $2.2 million which is estimated to grow over the following eight years.

“Our 2022-2032 long-term financial plan shows Inner West Council operating from a position of financial stability, while meeting financial key performance indicators and maintaining existing service levels,” Councillor Drury said.

For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 9392 5334 or Elizabeth.Heath@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 21 Jun 2022