Roads are the top priority in Wollondilly Council’s 2022/23 Operational Plan and Budget, which includes a record investment of over $50 million in capital works, as well as many other great projects which will be delivered across the Shire in the next 12 months.
Delivering his first budget as Mayor, Cr Matt Gould said that continuing the work from the last term of Council to address the impacts of historic underspending on roads as well as the damage caused from the past six months of torrential weather will be the primary focus, with a record-setting investment of over $26M going into road repairs and reconstruction for close to 200 projects right across the Shire.
“This includes more than $5M towards Silverdale Road, in excess of $4M for West Parade, $600k+ each for Bobs Range Road and Montpellier Drive and hundreds of thousands going into each of the following projects; Thirlmere Way, Arina Road, Werombi Road, and Regreme Road just to name a few,” Cr Gould said.
“We will also see badly needed targeted reconstruction and resurfacing work on sections of road across the Shire including in areas such as Menangle Rd, Binalong Rd, Egans Rd, Rockford Rd, Spring Creek Rd and Wilton Rd in Appin.”
Council is also expanding its road crews with a new dedicated roadside vegetation and drainage crew to address the significant drainage issues across the Shire.
While roads are the top priority for Wollondilly, the community has also expressed a desire for Council to invest in major infrastructure, including new community and sporting facilities.
A range of exciting projects on the cards will support the health and wellbeing of the Wollondilly population, including new and upgraded playgrounds at Menangle, The Oaks and Yanderra, improved sporting facilities at Appin and Tahmoor, and new footpaths at Silverdale and Bargo.
The direct investment of $48M in local capital works to improve the Shire is predicted to stimulate local jobs through project delivery. The local economy will also be boosted with the implementation of the Employment Lands Strategy to open up land for job creating businesses.
Council will continue to advocate for economic development opportunities to support existing primary production uses. This includes amending the LEP to remove red tape and make it easier to start or expand horticultural farming.
Other improvements in Council processes include the digitising of the planning approval process to allow for seamless transactions between local and State government platforms, as well as increasing efficiency resulting in faster DA determination times.
Council will make the process easier for its customers with added resourcing for Development Services, as well as further investment in Strategic Planning to prepare for and manage the future demands of growth, particularly in Wilton and the NSW Government’s Greater Macarthur Growth Area.
All councils in NSW were given the opportunity this year to apply to receive an additional special rate variation (SRV) in excess of the rate cap set by the independent pricing regulator, IPART. Wollondilly did not take this opportunity and instead set the rates at a 1.3% annual increase as recommended by IPART, which is well below inflation. This equates to an average of about $15 for the year for an average residential property.
Council will also ramp up its awareness campaigns of Wollondilly as a visitor destination through strategically focussed Love the Dilly and Visit Wollondilly campaigns, highlighting the beauty and unique experiences the Shire has to offer.
“We want Wollondilly Council to become the best it can be – a high performing organisation managing change and growth well and delivering higher quality services for the benefit of the current and future Wollondilly community,” Cr Gould said.