At an Extraordinary Meeting held tonight, Dungog Shire Council has adopted its Draft Operational Plan 2021-2022 and Budget, following a 28-day public exhibition period.
The Operational Plan outlines the activities to be undertaken in 2021-22 as part of council's Delivery Program 2018-2022, which was also publicly exhibited and adopted due to its amendments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor of Dungog Shire, Cr John Connors, says council is proposing a robust $31.5M Scheduled Capital Works Program for 2021-2022, with many significant infrastructure projects scheduled for commencement and completion in the coming year.
“Council has listened to community feedback and has prioritised road and infrastructure improvements across the shire, approving a $31.5M capital works budget in the 2021-22 Operational Plan,” said Mayor Connors.
“Notable infrastructure upgrades include:
- $7.53M for 12 local timber bridge replacements;
- $7.21M for seven projects on Clarence Town Road from Dungog to Clarence Town;
- $6M for progression of the Clarence Town Bridge construction adjacent to the Brig O’Johnston Bridge;
- $5.29M for local road rehabilitation under the Fixing Local Roads Grant and the Special Rate Variation; and
- $1.08M for the Dungog Library upgrade.
“These upgrades are funded through a combination of Federal and State government grants and council funds, and will deliver much-needed improvements for the Dungog community.”
Council’s 2021-22 Capital Works budget is in addition to $25M Dungog Shire will receive from the NSW Government for local road upgrades.
“This capital works budget does not include the $25M Special Purpose Grant announced earlier this year by the NSW Government to improve the condition of Dungog’s local road network – funding which I was particularly pleased to see confirmed in the state budget on Tuesday,” Mayor Connors added.
As part of the process of adopting council’s Operational Plan, council is also required to make the rates and set the interest charges for 2021/2022, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993.
Council has adopted the 2021/2022 Pricing Policy as exhibited, and approved expenditure as detailed within the 2021/2022 Budget, including the rate peg limit of 2% and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approved special rate variation of 8%.
General Manager, Gareth Curtis, says council received three submissions for the exhibited documents during the public exhibition period.
“Council received three submissions in response to the recent exhibition of our draft Operational Plan and Budget, Delivery Program, and Pricing Policy, all of which were in support of the activities proposed,” said Mr Curtis.
“Submissions were received from the Chair of Dungog Regional Tourism, the Dungog District Chamber of Commerce and the Hunter Regional Four Wheel Drive Council (HRFWDC), and we look forward to working with each of these organisations in the implementation of initiatives including the Dungog Destination Management Plan, to the benefit of our broader community.
“Council will be writing to each of the organisations from which submissions were received to thank them for their input and advise them of the adoption of all exhibited plans and policies.”
All adopted Plans and Policies will come into effect on 1 July 2021.