Budgeting for a strong future

Published on 20 June 2023

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Hobart is one of the most unique capital cities in the world.

As the engine room of Tasmania’s economy, we’re seeking to raise the bar on what it means to be a great city - one which continuously innovates and works collaboratively with our elected members, industry partners and business to place the community at the heart of everything we do.

Hobart City Council adopted its 2023-24 budget at its meeting tonight, with funding that will underpin the continued growth and transformation of the City.

The City of Hobart plays an important role in setting the future direction of our community, and our ongoing commitment to this objective will ensure that we position Hobart as a capital city for the future.

Alongside our Annual Plan, the 2023-24 is a budget that strengthens the City’s financial basis and will enable the City to continue to be community focussed, innovative and responsive.

The City of Hobart will deliver a $167.5 million operating budget to support the implementation of our Annual Plan priorities and provide high quality services to the community.

Like ratepayers across Hobart, the City is not immune to cost increases due to high inflation, with the Local Government Cost Index at 8.11 per cent.

Although the City’s costs are increasing at this high rate, the Council has limited the increase in rates for the average residential ratepayer in Hobart to 6.9 per cent, which is consistent with the current rate of inflation (Hobart March CPI).

The rate increase for the average commercial ratepayer will be 8.9 per cent.

For the average residential ratepayer, the increase in rates equates to $3.17 per week.

The City of Hobart acknowledges the current housing shortage and will continue to implement a differential rating strategy in 2023-24.

The Council has also adopted a differential rating for properties used for short stay visitor accommodation and vacant-residential land.

The Council is encouraging owners of short stay accommodation to make their properties available for long-term rental purposes, while inviting owners of vacant-residential land to develop their land more quickly for residential accommodation.

The Annual Plan for 2023-24 adopted alongside the 2023-24 budget sets out the Strategic Directions, major actions and initiatives that will guide the priorities of the City over the coming 12 months.

This plan continues to deliver on the strategies and commitments in the refreshed Capital City Strategic Plan and the City’s Community Vision.

In 2034-34 there will be a particular focus on strategic and land use planning to prepare the city for growth and change, by shaping a Future Hobart Plan 2050 and neighbourhood plans for Sandy Bay/Mount Nelson and North Hobart to guide future development.

$35 million has also been allocated for critical capital works in 2023-24 to help realise the City’s Vision’s by:

  • Investing in our community sport and recreation infrastructure including $8.2 million to continue upgrading and developing the Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre; and $1.3 million to commence redevelopment of the Queenborough Oval changerooms, amenities and public toilets.
  • Continuing to upgrade our retail precincts including $920,000 for Salamanca Pedestrian Works at Morrison St; and $700,000 for CCTV infrastructure in North Hobart.
  • Renewing critical bushland infrastructure including $642,000 on the popular Zig Zag Track and $450,000 for the Knocklofty to McRobies Gully Connector; and keeping our mountain roads safe by investing $2.6 million in the renewal of the Pinnacle Road guardrail.

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said: “In 2023-24, we will deliver a robust and future-focused budget that will enable us to provide the services and projects that matter most to the community, while providing value for money for our residents, ratepayers and businesses.

“We appreciate that every household and business is grappling with the increased cost of living, however, such an increase is necessary for us to adequately service the needs of our growing community.

“The Council have worked tirelessly to prepare a Budget that has made operational efficiencies and addresses ongoing financial challenges, with the Council’s financial sustainability a top consideration in preparing the Budget.

“So that Council can continue to provide our community with quality services and infrastructure for future generations, we need to make some crucial decisions now that will have tangible benefits in the years to come.

“The 2023-24 Budget strikes a balance between addressing financial challenges, prioritising existing services and infrastructure, and delivering a range of projects that will position the City as a thriving place to live, work, visit and invest as a priority.”

2023-24 Budget by the numbers:

  • Rates revenue: 8.5 per cent increase
  • Average Residential Ratepayer: 6.9 per cent increase
  • Average Commercial Ratepayer 8.9 per cent increase
  • Operating Budget: $167.5 million
  • Underlying Surplus: $500,000
  • Surplus: $11.1 million
  • Australian & State Government grants totalling: $14.9 million
  • Capital works program: $35 million
  • Roads and footpaths: $4.6 million
  • Cycling infrastructure: $1.4 million
  • Bushland management & infrastructure: $3.5 million
  • City Cleaning: $3.6 million
  • Household waste/recycling/FOGO collections: $3.8 million
  • Public waste collection: $352,000
  • Parks/reserves/sporting facilities maintenance & management: $7.3 million
  • Community and creative programs: $3.2 million
  • Bushfire management & fire trails: $2.1 million
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