Distributed 12/06/2024

At the June Council Meeting, the Central Coast Council (the Council) will present its Annual Plan and Budget Estimates for 2024-25. The initiatives outlined in the Annual Plan highlight the Council’s commitment to responding to growth opportunities in a deliberate and responsible manner.

Mayor Cheryl Fuller said that the Council’s budget will also reflect a period of consolidation:

“This Annual Plan and Budget represents a significant step forward in our commitment to delivering on promises made to our community. We have been good at creating plans but not so good at implementing them.” 

“With the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer and the dedication of our leadership team, we have embarked on a journey to reinvigorate the Council’s capacity, and as important, capability to better serve our community.” She said.

The Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Omundson, highlighted the need to get the basics right:

“After five consecutive deficits, it is now time to get the basics right. Transformational change takes time and money, and while the budget will result in a small operating deficit of $240k, it also makes investments that will yield long-term efficiency gains and service quality improvements.”

The 2024-25 budget reflects a strategic realignment of resources with a focus on enhancing service delivery and strengthening organisational health to foster a more cohesive and accountable team. One initiative includes a comprehensive Culture Development Plan, adopted by Council in December 2023, to be implemented over the next three years. 

“Culture is simply ‘the way we do things around here’ and our Council is totally committed to a significant change program to ensure what we do, we do very well. Cultural improvements are also focussed on ensuring we have workplaces that support the safety and wellbeing of our valued staff.” Said Mr Omundson.

“We are confident that these investments will yield long-term efficiency gains and service quality improvements, which will assist in leading us back to a surplus.” He said.

The budget proposes a 5.86% increase in the General Rate, equivalent to around $86 per year ($1.65 per week) for a medium residential property. 

Mayor Cheryl Fuller said:

“This increase is crucial for the ongoing sustainability for our municipal area, with rates revenue only making up 54% of our Council’s total funding. The level of rates paid by our community remains lower than many other Councils in our region.”

“We of course recognise the impact this change will have on our community and want to reassure residents of our Council’s commitment to balancing the need for progress, with the cost-of-living pressures faced by many.”  She said.  

Rates and charges can now be paid in four instalments instead of in full by 30 September. Ratepayers wishing to take up an early payment discount can do so if the payment is made in full by 31 August 2024.  The discount offered for 2024/25 is 3.75%.

“These planned initiatives will not only address the immediate needs of our Central Coast community, but contribute to the long-term vision of Tasmania’s Central Coast as a natural tapestry with space to grow.” Said Mayor Fuller. 

“We would like to thank the community for their continued support and look forward to working together to build a better Central Coast.” She said.