2022 – 2023 Budget Adopted; Doing More With Less
2 August 2022
Council adopted the Shire of Esperance Budget for the 2022 - 2023 financial year at a Special Council Meeting today.
"This has been a tough Budget for Council to put together” Ian Mickel, Shire President, said. “However, I do believe we’ve come up with the best result possible, considering these difficult times.”
“The 6% Rate increase is not what we hoped for, but I, and the rest of the Council, felt we couldn’t cut this Budget any finer without withdrawing services to the community. This is not a sacrifice we’re willing to make.”
“This Budget deals with increasing inflation while carefully planning for the next 12 months”, Ian said. “Significant increases in fuel prices, as well as materials and other outside factors are very real issues and we will manage these.”
“Our road network is under immense pressure. Record crops bring an increase in heavy vehicles, a longer season, and more activity in the rural areas. Within town the population remains largely consistent, so maintenance of sporting grounds, verges, roads, the foreshore, and the like still needs to be completed – we really are doing more with less.”
Despite declining economic markers nationwide, Ian expressed a positive outlook for the Shire’s future, saying “I am very confident that we’ll manage this Budget through forecast rising costs, and that we’ll come out of the year with balanced books.”
The Budget was presented to Council with a small deficit representing a predicted $74m expenditure (made up of $37.5m operating and $36.5m in capital).
“The Budget is being funded from $23m in Rates, $20m in other Operating Revenue, $15m in Capital Grants, $9m from Reserve Transfers, $3m from Financing Activities and $4m carried forward from last year’s projects”, Shire CEO Shane Burge explained.
Major projects and acquisitions planned for the 2022 – 2023 Financial year include:
- $15,650,000 for Road Upgrades and Improvements across our road network, the largest of any local government in WA
- $400,000 planned for a new fit for purpose Grass Patch Bush Fire Brigade Shed to replace the current facility, housed in the old Post Office
- $1,450,000 for the Marine Infrastructure comprising the Bandy Creek Sand Backpassing Project for Castletown Beach
- $600,000 towards the Myrup Waste Transfer Station, now at the detailed design phase, planned to deliver best practice waste management and multiple waste services to our community
- $73,500 for LNG Gas Appliance Replacements, expected to be recouped from the State Government
- $1,432,000 and $500,000 to develop residential land at Flinders Estate Stage 4 and Ocean St, Sinclair, respectively. These projects are intended to help ease housing pressures, and income from land sales will be available for future projects in coming years
“Shire CEO Shane Burge acknowledged the financial stresses being faced by many, commenting "Similar to all households, this is also a challenging financial time for the Shire."
"With inflation and rising fuel and material costs, there is concern that a number of the Projects in the Budget could be adversely affected, however we built resilience into this Budget, we will be monitoring all financial input, and we'll continue to manage it to a high standard."
"One of the things I am most proud of in this Budget is the investment we have made in all our staff, through the new Shire of Esperance Enterprise Agreement 2022”, he said. “This Agreement and the workplace improvements contained in it is very important to me, and Council have shown their support by endorsing these changes.”
Rate parameters, Fees and Charges, Reserve movements, proposed Borrowings and the Waste Rate for the 2022 - 2023 financial year were also endorsed at the Special Council Meeting.
The resulting Rate increase of 6% was adopted, which for an average household would be around a $115 increase per annum.
The Waste Rate remains unchanged, at $80 per rateable property, and all ratepayers will once again receive four Domestic Waste Voucher entitlements.
Read the full Budget on our Annual & Financial Reports webpage here.
Mary Bidstrup (08) 9071 0626