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September 28, 2022 by ash

Cessnock City Council adopts 2022-23 budget, including $59.8 million Capital Works Program

Cessnock City Council’s 2022-23 budget includes a record $59.8 million capital works program, including a 14 per cent increase in roads maintenance spending.

Council’s operational plan and budget, its 2022-26 Delivery Program, and its 2036 Community Strategic Plan were adopted at an extraordinary council meeting on June 29.

The $146 million budget includes hundreds of projects and is forecast to remain in surplus.

More than half of the $59.8 million capital works program has been grant-funded, and there has been an increase in resourcing to fast-track this program of works, as well as an investment in trainee and apprentice roles.

It includes a $28.2 million investment in local roads and pathways, and $5.8 million towards roads maintenance – a 14.3 per cent increase on last year.

Key projects will include a $2.1 million upgrade to Old Maitland Road, Sawyers Gully; $1.9 million for the renewal of Sandy Creek Road, Quorrobolong and $3.2 million for the Bridges Hill Park to Wine Country shared pathway.

The budget also includes Black Spot road renewal works at George Downes Drive, Bucketty and Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin and the replacement of Watagan Creek bridge at Laguna.

“Council has listened to the community and heard loud and clear that our road network needs to be a top priority,” Cessnock mayor Jay Suvaal said.

“Council will also invest $6.7 million in our local parks, playgrounds, pools and community facilities, which all play a vital role in making our community a wonderful place to live.”

Other highlights of the budget include $4.1 million for Kurri Kurri Town Centre upgrades, $3 million to complete the Branxton to Greta Cycleway, the commencement of the RFS Aviation Base project and the completion of the Cessnock Airport upgrade.

The meeting also saw council officially adopt a 2.5 per cent special rate variation, which was approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in June.

Cr Suvaal said the rate increase would allow council to spend more money on roads.

“No-one likes to see rates go up, but these rates and charges do allow us to spend an increase on our roads maintenance budget, and they do allow us an increase in investment in local roads, which is much-asked-for by the community,” he said.