Council’s ‘big ticket’ projects, including new Helensburgh library, delivered under program

The current Helensburgh library. Helensburgh can a replacement building under Wollongong City Council’s ‘Delivery Program 2018-2022’

THE extension of the Grand Pacific Walk to Clifton, a new roof for the Bulli Rural Fire Service building, and a new library for Helensburgh are closer to realisation after Wollongong City Council endorsed the public exhibition of its ‘Delivery Program 2018-2022’ and draft ‘Operational Plan 2021-2022’ on Monday night.

Each year Council sets out its plans and focus areas for the year ahead and asks the community for their input and feedback.

To support the delivery of the annual program, Council proposes a two percent rates increase, which, it says, is in line with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommendation. The rates increase, it says, will also maintain financial sustainability.

Domestic waste changes for a 120lt bin will increase by $6 per year. This will equate to around $33 for the most common household land valuation of $290,000. Other fees and charges are also expected to increase by two percent in line with rates.

The documents will be available for community comment from Thursday, April 22 until Thursday May 20, 2021.

“I know some people might find it hard to get excited about Council documents – but these are no ordinary Plans,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“These are our community’s way of seeing exactly what we’re looking to do on their behalf for the year ahead. You can see what our plans are, what money we’re planning to spend and how we are making Wollongong a better city for everyone.’’

Through the Plans, Council is continuing to focus on ways to make Wollongong an enviable place to live, work and relax.

“There are plenty of big ticket projects being discussed in these plans like continuing work on the Grand Pacific Walk, detailed planning for new community and library facilities in Warrawong and Helensburgh, the upgrade and refurbishment of the North Wollongong Surf Club and Seawall and the ongoing delivery of the Cringila Hills Mountain Biking Trails, walking tracks, skills park and pump track,” Cr Bradbery said.

“But what these plans also show is that we have a big focus on the amenity and beauty of the city. We are going to continue to increase the cleaning regimes of our public toilets – particularly those in well-used beach park locations, and we’re going to rollout more of our flower-filled planter boxes in the city, towns and villages.

“Looking at the documents you can see exactly where the 41 new and renewed footpaths across the city are mapped, and you can also see where we’re looking to work on boardwalks, jetties and car parks, put a new roof on the Bulli Rural Fire Service building and build new accessible amenities for Port Kembla Pool and beach.”

The $109.3M capital budget programs covers 200 design projects and 250 construction projects. Key areas of focus are on more safety around schools, accessibility improvements and ongoing investment in West Dapto.

“We are always striving to improve our city – and that includes how people can move through and around it,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Active transport remains a key focus for Council, particularly ahead of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships which will take Wollongong to an unprecedented global audience.

“These are exciting times for our city and I encourage everyone to have a look at our plans to continue Wollongong’s positive growth.”

 “While rates aren’t Council’s only income source, they are important as we’re able to use this money to support new assets and the maintenance of existing assets used by our community,” Cr Bradbery said.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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