MidCoast Council seeks feedback on key community plans

The plans highlight MidCoast Council’s major roads and water projects.

 

DRAFT plans outlining projects and services to be delivered across the MidCoast during 2022-23, along with MidCoast Council’s draft annual operating budget, are now available for feedback until 8 June.

These plans are prepared each year to guide Council’s services and activities and outline how projects will be delivered, funded and resourced.

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The annual and four-year plans are developed to achieve the objectives identified as priorities for the local community in the Community Strategic Plan, which has also been reviewed this year.

“These documents guide our services and show what we are doing to make the MidCoast a better place to live, work and visit,” MidCoast Council General Manager Adrian Panuccio said.

“They set out the path we will take to delivering long-term improvements, projects and change.

“We are asking for the community to have a look at these documents and give us feedback. In doing so, you are helping to shape what we deliver for you.”

Mr Panuccio said as well as delivering services such as road maintenance, repairs and upgrades, swimming pools, libraries, sporting fields, parks, gardens, and waste, water and sewer services, Council will also undertake a number of environmental, cultural and community projects.

“Over the coming year we will be developing strategies to establish the future direction for areas such as economic development, open space and recreation, and community preparedness.”

Major roads and water projects will include the expansion of the Hawks Nest Sewerage Treatment Plant.

“We will also be continuing our work on consolidating our MidCoast Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan, reviewing our Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy and implementing our Information Technology Strategy.”

The Information Technology Strategy has been developed to support a business transformation program which focuses on making it easier to do business with Council.

Improving local and regional roads, improving development approval times, streamlining processes, and improving environmental performance are also major focus areas for Council in the coming year.

To work towards delivering on their commitment to zero net emissions Council will be
installing solar power systems at Taree Waste Management Centre, Manning Point, Hallidays Point, Coopernook and Hawks Nest Sewage Treatment Plants.

Council will also be undertaking a landfill gas capture trial, starting a smart water meter trial to reduce water loss and transitioning our street lighting to renewable energy sources.

The budget for 2022-23, which forms part of the public exhibition, shows Council’s income and expenditure.

“In the 2022-23 year, Council will manage an income of $310 million, $104 million of which will be spent on our transport network, $87 million on water supply and treatment, $72 million on sewer services and $35 million on waste services.”

MidCoast Council has made an application for an annual increase for our rates to be 2.25 percent for the 2022-23 year, which is consistent with the projections set out in Council’s Long Term Financial Plan.

This was prompted by the low-rate peg advised by IPART for all Councils in the State of NSW, 0.7 percent, adjusted with a population growth factor to 0.9 percent for the MidCoast.

As a result of a State-wide lobby by NSW Councils, the State Government has advised that Councils can apply to IPART to increase rates for next year back to the level they have been budgeting for – to a maximum of 2.5 percent.

Eighty four percent of councils across NSW have applied for either the additional increase or have existing increases already in place above the 2.5 percent.

“More than just focusing on the year ahead, our challenge has always been looking after our infrastructure into the future; we will continue to work with elected Councillors to balance this with meeting our community’s needs,” Mr Panuccio said.

A visual breakdown of income and expenditure can be found on page 31 and 32 of the Draft Operational Plan, while budget summaries are also included along with detailed budget statements.

To read the 2022-23 Draft Operational Plan, annual budget, and proposed fees and charges, and to provide your feedback, please visit www.haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au before the public exhibition period closes on 8 June.

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