Blacktown’s record $809 million balanced budget

With a major capital works program of $284 million alone, Blacktown City Council has announced it’s delivered a record balanced budget totalling $809 million for 2022/23.

Representing the largest-ever Council spend, the draft budget and a 20-year blueprint for sustainable development have been adopted and placed on public exhibition 11 May to 7 June.

Images: BCC

Last year’s budget was $656 million.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM the budget will ensure the delivery of “foundation” and “transformational” projects residents and businesses living across a modern city of 54 suburbs need.

“It comes after another 12 months of disruption and staring down ever-present challenges, but shows that our commitment to delivering services for our community remains resolute,” Mayor Bleadsale said.

“This budget will support our vital capital works program, including our transformational projects, to deliver now and for the future.

“The transformational projects are a source of much excitement in our City – the Warrick Lane precinct is filling with tenants, and the pad sites behind it are close to being ready to take to market. Two of our other transformational projects – the International Centre of Training Excellence and the Blacktown Animal Rehoming Centre – will both open in the next 12 months.

“In addition to our transformational projects, $115 million has been allocated for significant new works in the North West Growth Area, which consist of $90 million for land acquisitions and $29 million for roadworks, drainage, and open space.

“Council has allocated $160 million in 2022/23 for the construction and maintenance of roads, footpaths and bridges.

“A further $108 million has been allocated for purchasing land in new release areas to deliver essential drainage and transport infrastructure.

“$26 million is allocated to ensure our Kids’ Early Learning centres can provide the best local child care across one of the biggest childcare operations in New South Wales.

“Our libraries will receive $10.4 million this year to ensure our community has access to this vital service.

“Meanwhile, $23.5 million will go to our five leisure centres, the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, community centres and recreational facilities.

“This budget allocates an extra $46 million for the provision and maintenance of our parks, reserves, playgrounds and sporting fields.”

Speaking at Wednesday’s (4 May) Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Brad Bunting said it is a very important budget, at a very important time for the city.

“As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, this budget will ensure we can pay the bills and give the people and businesses in our city the services they expect,” Cr Bunting said.

“While it underwrites a bright, modern future for our City, we face a reality of profound financial challenges.

“As our City continues to grow and our residents’ expectations continue to rise, we face the restriction of NSW Government rate pegging, and reductions in real terms to our grant funding from government.

“Living within our means is becoming harder and harder, without cutting the services on which our community depends.

“Therefore, we will ask staff to investigate and report for Council’s consideration, a modest and equitable increase in our rate revenue, to ensure we can sustainably fund our services and the management of our assets into the future.”

In addition to the draft budget, Council presented its draft Community Strategic Plan, Our Blacktown 2041 as well as the Delivery Program 2022–2026, Operational Plan 2022/23 and 10-year Resourcing Strategy.

Mayor Bleasdale said: “Our Blacktown 2041 is the strategic plan which will guide our operations and will ensure that everything our Council does has purpose.

“The implementation of this plan will take us efficiently towards achieving our social, environmental, economic and civic objectives.”

Blacktown City Council 2022/23 Budget key points – $809 million:
$284 million allocated for major capital works, including $115 million for significant new works in the North West Growth Area consisting of:

  • $90 million for land acquisitions
  • $29 million for roadworks, drainage, and open space
  • $160 million for the construction and maintenance of roads, footpaths and bridges
  • $108 million for the purchase of land in new release areas to deliver essential drainage and transport infrastructure.

Funding for core services consisting of:

  • $26 million for the operation of Council’s Kids Early Learning centres
  • $10.4 million for the operation of Council’s five libraries
  • $23.5 million for Council’s 5 Leisure Centres, the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, community centres and recreational facilities
  • $63.1 million for the operation and maintenance of waste collection and management services
  • $46 million for procurement and maintenance of parks, reserves, playgrounds and sporting fields

Blacktown City has a population of 403,000 people and this is predicted to reach 612,000 in 2041. It is the fourth largest in Australia, home to the largest urban First Nations population in NSW and has a $22 billion economy

The Blacktown City Council draft 2022/23 Operation Plan and budget documents, the Our Blacktown 2041, Delivery Program 2022–2026 and 10-year Resourcing Strategy are available for public comment on Council’s website from 11 May to 7 June 2022.

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