Shire of Coolgardie Presents 2023/2024 Budget: Addressing Rising Costs and Generating Revenue

Published on Thursday, 20 July 2023 at 3:21:18 PM

The Shire of Coolgardie is pleased to announce its 2023/2024 budget, which tackles the challenges posed by rising costs, supply chain disruptions, and labour shortages. The budget reflects the Shire's commitment to delivering improved and efficient services to the community while exploring innovative revenue-generating opportunities.

The local and Western Australian economy has recently experienced supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, and a significant 5.8% increase in the Perth Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the year leading up to March 2023. In light of these challenges, maintaining the current level of services solely through rates revenue would require a staggering rate increase of over 105%, which is clearly unsustainable and not viable for our community. 

To ensure the continued delivery of services and to avoid placing an undue burden on ratepayers, the Shire of Coolgardie has focused on generating alternative sources of revenue. By actively seeking new revenue-generating opportunities and fostering strong collaborative relationships with the mining sector, connected businesses, industry, and the State Government, the Shire has achieved a remarkable feat. 

Despite the economic challenges, the Shire of Coolgardie has successfully limited the rate increase to a modest 1.9% for residential, commercial, general industry, and light industry ratepayers. This rate increase, coupled with estimated revenue increases of $13.2 million from fees and charges associated with workers' accommodation, waste facilities, and the Kambalda Airport, will enable the Shire to not only maintain the current level of services but also invest in renewing and maintaining essential infrastructure, including roads, footpaths, drainage, buildings, and community facilities.

Over the past three years, the Shire of Coolgardie has strategically invested in major infrastructure projects that have the potential to generate significant revenue. These projects include the development of Kambalda Workers Accommodation Facilities, the Kambalda Aerodrome, and the Coolgardie Class III Waste Facility . While these projects have impacted cash flow in the short term, the Shire anticipates a substantial positive impact on revenue, cash flow, and reserves in both the short and long term.

In addition to rate revenue, the Shire has secured operating grants and contributions from various sources, amounting to an estimated $3.6 million. The budget also accounts for non-operating grants totalling $25.2 million, which will fund major infrastructure projects subject to funding and contributions. The Shire has taken a proactive approach to review and adjust fees and charges for all services, resulting in an estimated $22 million in revenue for the 2023/2024 financial year.

The 2023/2024 budget allocates funds for an ambitious capital expenditure program, totalling $48.07 million. Key projects include road renewals, recreational facilities provision, road and infrastructure maintenance, plant and equipment renewal, housing and workers accommodation, community infrastructure, and waste facility upgrades. These investments underscore the Shire's commitment to maintaining and improving essential infrastructure to meet the growing needs of our community.

Council's strategic decision-making and investment in revenue-generating infrastructure have significantly contributed to the Shire's financial resilience. Although the projects' construction phase impacted cash flow, the completion and operation of these facilities will generate substantial revenue, ensuring the Shire's long-term sustainability.

The Shire of Coolgardie remains dedicated to providing essential services, fostering collaborative partnerships, and pursuing innovative revenue streams. With the 2023/2024 budget, we are confident in our ability to navigate the economic challenges while continuing to meet the needs of our community.

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