City budget puts community first
City of Sydney
The City of Sydney will spend over $750 million in the next financial year as a changed but reinvigorated Sydney continues to adapt to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
In 2023/24, much of Council’s $550 million operating expenditure will be used to support local businesses and deliver capital works projects, as well as maintain community facilities, parks and open spaces while delivering quality road maintenance and waste collection serviced.
The draft budget has been endorsed unanimously for public exhibition and feedback.
The City of Sydney also proposes a 10-year capital works program of over $2.1 billion which includes $35 million towards the upgrade of Sydney Square.
Just over $200 million is earmarked for capital works projects this coming year, split between new projects and renewing existing amenities including:
- $22.5 million for bike paths and cycling infrastructure, including the Oxford Street bike path
- $17.8 million for community, cultural and recreational centres, including Huntley Street and Alexandria indoor courts
- $34.3 million for public domain work, with $8 million for the final stages of the George Street pedestrianisation and $6.9 million for the Crown Street upgrade
- $5.3 million for continued street tree and in-road planting programs
- $23.3 million for new parks and upgrades including stage two of Gunyama Park and George Julius Avenue north.
“Our community is still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, but we have made significant progress over the past 12 months and it’s exciting to see people returning to the city,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore said.
“The new city budget features expenditure on programs, services and capital works that will help maintain this momentum, with outstanding services and amenities for our communities.
“We’ve allocated money for street upgrades, greening and grants to help ensure our residents, businesses and visitors get the support they need to ensure Sydney is the best place to live, work and visit.
“We will continue to waive outdoor dining fees and invest in city precinct activations like our popular Sydney Streets road closures, which will provide much needed support to local businesses and community during their own financial recovery.
“With the return of international visitors and students we’re spending $1 million on our visitor services, including boosting numbers of roaming ambassadors around Circular Quay and the Rocks.
“The budget also provides funding for a new commercial waste compliance team within City Rangers and additional community waste education programs including a campaign designed to encourage our communities to reduce the amount of waste they generate.
“$16.1 million is earmarked for infrastructure renewal, from road and footpath works to paver in-fills, kerbs and drainage and we’re funding the Castlereagh and Oxford Street Cycleways, George Street North pedestrianisation, extensive renovation of the Pyrmont Community Centre and the new Wimbo Park and North Rosebery Park among other infrastructure improvements.
“Encouraging active transport remains a priority, with $22.5 million going towards Sydney’s world-class bicycle network, part of Council’s long-term $122 million-dollar financial plan for cycleways over the next 10 years.”
In addition to allocating money for the coming year, the budget also includes financing for multi-year community and cultural projects, including:
- $7.7 million for the highly anticipated upgrade to Pyrmont Community Centre
- $8.8 million for the fit-out of the long-awaited George Street innovation hub, which sees three levels of floor space dedicated to tech and innovation at the stunning 180 George Street
- $5.5 million for improvements to Dixon Street, part of broader upgrade plans for Chinatown.
“The budget reflects the City of Sydney’s commitment to reconciliation with $11.5 million pledged to the long-term plan for Yananurala, a project to celebrate the cultures and heritage of First Nations people along the harbour foreshore, and $400,000 for cultural programs at our new Aboriginal and cultural knowledge centre in Redfern,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“We’re also providing new computers and audio-visual equipment in our libraries and community centres, as well as more community venues with free Wi-Fi.”
The 2023/24 budget is on public exhibition until 12 June, after which it will be considered by Council for final adoption. For more information or to comment, visit sydneyyoursay.com.au
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