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City of Palmerston announces hold on rates as part of Municipal Plan and Budget release

City of Palmerston will be holding rates and its waste service charges for the coming financial year as part of its draft Municipal Plan and Budget 2020/21. 

Council’s draft Budget includes a zero increase on rates and waste service charges for the 2020/21 financial year, meaning there will be no increase from 2019/20.

Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell revealed the budget and plans today which are now online for community feedback. 

“The hold on rates will see a zero increase for ratepayers,” she said. 

“Council will also hold or reduce its fees and charges, with no change to community service levels, while in some areas Council is increasing its services.”

“Council is carefully balancing the needs of our community, with the aim of supporting our ratepayers and local economy.”

The Municipal Plan and Budget, and the Long-Term Financial Plan, ensure Council continues to deliver and build on services to the community and invest in the ongoing renewal of $719 million of community infrastructure assets.  

Highlights for the coming year include:

  • No increase from 2019/20 values for Rates, the Waste Service Charge and on all Council fees and charges. 
  • Continuing to offer free entry to the Palmerston Pool.
  • Continuing to provide free all-day parking in our City Centre until 30 September 2020.
  • Continuing free community venue hire for our community groups until 30 September 2020.
  • Rates Financial Hardship Applications for both residential and commercial ratepayers.
  • Maintaining our City’s capital works program and Council’s significant local spend.
  • $1 million of expedited capital work projects in partnership with the Northern Territory Government as part of the Special Community Assistance and Local Employment Grant.
  • Partnering with Australian Government for the upgrade of Gray Community Hall.
  • Maintaining our service levels across the whole Municipality, in all areas. 

Council’s capital budget of $6.139 million is structured to stimulate our economy and improve Palmerston’s liveability. 

Capital works projects will enhance community facilities and recreation spaces, renew our parks, and improve waste collection, roads and shared paths. Investments will include: 

  • $130,000 for the upgrade of Marlow Lagoon Dog Park.
  • $130,000 for an audio recording studio at the City of Palmerston Library.
  • $1.3 million for Council facilities and building upgrades. 
  • $55,000 for shading of playgrounds and open spaces. 
  • $250,000 for further solar PV system installation for Council buildings to reduce energy cost.
  • $85,000 Public Art Program. 
  • $80,000 Waste Education Program. 
  • $250,000 for continuation of Council’s ‘Dark Spots’ upgrades.
  • $150,000 for improvements to the City’s stormwater drain network.
  • $889,500 for parks and reserves.
  • $250,000 for tree planting.
  • $2.3 million for road, shared paths and street amenity beautification.

Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell explained that the process of developing each Municipal Plan and Budget contributes to the delivery of the City’s Community Plan.

“Our community is at the centre of all we do, it’s about the liveability for our families and residents, opportunities for our local businesses, and the sustainability for our city. I encourage the community to read Council’s draft plans for the coming 12 months and provide feedback to ensure Council continues to meet community needs.” Mayor Pascoe-Bell said.

The Municipal Plan is Council’s ‘action plan’, outlining services, programs, events, facilities and infrastructure it intends to provide and maintain for the 2020/21 financial year. It also contains Council’s Annual Budget, including proposed rates, fees and charges. 

The Draft Municipal Plan and Budget, and Long-Term Financial Plan document are available to view at Council’s website, www.palmerston.nt.gov.au, with community feedback closing 5.00pm on Thursday 2 July 2020.          

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