Renewal’s the word

Fremantle city council is going out with a bang, earmarking $10 million in the 2013-14 budget for infrastructure spending.

This budget will be one of the last the elected council gets to approve before administrators are appointed prior to the port city’s formal amalgamation with Melville and East Fremantle.

Rates are going up 4.65 per cent (the council claims it’s the second lowest increase across metropolitan Perth after Stirling, but Vincent came in under four per cent so it’s at best the third lowest). The council will pocket a cool $36 million from rates over the year.

Spending includes:

• $5.2m to complete work at the Fremantle Leisure Centre

• $1.55 m for stage one works of the Film and Television Building

• $700,000 for the Evan Davies building, occupied by the Dome Cafe and Kulcha

• $1m to start work on the Warders’ Cottages

• $550,000 to do up the run-down Fremantle Markets

• $375,000 for the Fremantle Arts Centre

• $220,000 on Arthurs Head buildings.

The council is also spending $14 million on a new council depot on Carrington Street, to be shared with Melville.

Some $1.1m is set aside for the new Leighton Beach Cafe and $350,000 for a mens’ shed at the Hilton Bowling club to replace the one in White Gum Valley.

Parks and gardens will cost $4m, including $1.6m for the skatepark at the Esplanade, $350,000 for eco-zoning Fremantle Park and $150,000 for new reticulation at Bruce Lee Reserve. More than $3 million will be spent on roads and streets and $500,000 on the council’s bike plan.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says the budget—the first to crack $100 million—is about “investing in a renewed and sustainable future”. “Renewal is its core, from major investment in the leisure centre to heritage buildings to the arts in Fremantle.

“Council has worked hard to continue to deliver strong economic and community outcomes in line with its strategic planning, whilst ensuring the burden on ratepayers is minimised.”

by BRENDAN FOSTER

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