Lithgow Council has endorsed its 2023/24 Operational Plan which includes a significant increase to the major works that will be delivered next year.

The Mayor Maree Statham said, “The Council last night approved an ambitious and unprecedented program of major works across this city. This program confirms our ambition for this community to grow and prosper. Quality services and quality infrastructure underpin well-being. We have a rich and vibrant community and want to maintain the services that you ask for and need.” 

Council General Manager said, “This current year, we already have a large works program of $31.6m. But next year the program will see more than $52m of works delivered – a 60% increase. This is the largest program of works, far and away, that this Council has ever delivered. It will involve increased roadworks, footpaths, bridges, drainage, management of natural areas, sports fields and playground works.”

Mr Butler continued, “Some of the works will be made possible because the NSW Government and IPART approved Council’s proposal to increase income from land rates. While the total income will increase by 45.7% the Council took decisions which reduced the impact of this increase on the ratepayers. More than 99% of ratepayers are within residential, farmland and business (general) categories and for these people the Council limited the increase to 27.50% at its meeting held last night. The result is that residential rates will be an average of $4.01 per week higher than they would be with the normal rate increase.”  

The balance of the increase will be levied against the business power generation sub-category, mining category and a new quarrying business sub-category or sub-categories.

The funds raised from the additional rating revenue will enable Council to invest in the future of the Lithgow LGA and is spread across a number of priority programs:

  • $1,092,000 Transitions Management Program directed to the critical task of diversifying the local economy and attracting investment to the city.
  • $1,664,816 Transport Maintenance Program to undertake preventative maintenance on sealed roads (Condition 2,3 4) and implement a High-Risk Road Safety Signage & Barrier Improvements Program. The allocation nearly doubles the cash budget for roads maintenance.
  • $1,372,745 Roads Renewal Program  more than doubles the own source revenue allocation to road renewal with works to be undertaken on:
    • Sunny Corner Road Portland from Sofala to Falnash Street,
    • Corderoy Place Wallerawang,
    • Brays Lane, Wallerawang from Blackberry Lane to No. 175, and
    • Main Street, Wallerawang from Blackberry Lane to Railway Line.
  • $279,390 Stormwater Maintenance Program to divert water from roadways:
    • Doubling the urban Kerb and gutter replacement program, and
    • A new program of proactively reforming the drains of rural roads, preventing deterioration and increased later costs for repair.
  • $179,623 Stormwater Drainage Renewal Program implementation of the Flood Plain Risk Management Plan priority actions to reduce risks to residents and properties.
  • $395,802 General Asset Maintenance Program a new program of works to be undertaken including:
    • Development of a Natural Area Management Program,
    • Some asset management plans will be delivered earlier ensuring funds are better matched to the assets of greatest need, and
    • Implementing a comprehensive building asset inspections program to identify condition assessment and attributes.
  • $517,487 General Asset Renewal Program implementation of
    • Playground safety program which includes a priority softfall renewal program, increasing the playgrounds renewal budget by 75%, and  
    • Plant Replacement Acceleration Program to reduce the plant replacement backlog 4 years earlier, with workers having the correct, quality equipment they need for the job.
  • $250,000 to increase strategic capacity in the areas of Governance, Risk and Internal Audit – all of which assist ongoing financial sustainability.
  • A $250,000 revolving fund will be established to support productivity projects which achieve ongoing savings.
  • $250,000 Contingency Funding to be reserved annually to ensure Council is able to absorb future financial shocks.