‘Compassion’ budget

MELVILLE and East Fremantle councils adopted their budgets this week, with the focus squarely on dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

Melville’s budget commits the council to a $40.6 million spend across 200 products and services, and confirms a $200 rates concession to all residential household.

“These extraordinary times have called for extraordinary measures and despite the challenges, we have delivered a budget that provides a suite of concession, waivers and funding support as part of a $15m Melville community stimulus package,” mayor George Gear said.

“The 2020-2021 budget has also seen $8.5m in capital projects fast-tracked to this financial year in an effort to provide an additional economic boost to our local and regional economy.”

The council’s budget includes $13.5m to do up its own buildings, including a $2.7m refurbishment of LeisureFit Booragoon, $1.7m for the first stage of the Tompkins Park redevelopment, and $1.2m to upgrade change rooms at Winthrop Park.

East Fremantle said its budget had been “cast with compassion and restraint” and included a freeze on all staff wages.

“We have not been in anything like this previously,” mayor Jim O’Neil said.

“What we have attempted to do is set a budget with optimism, tempered with an understanding of what a lot of our community are currently facing financially and will continue to face.”

East Freo’s budget includes a $1.026 million capital works program including $175,000 for a new bus for its Neighbourhood Link program, $130,000 to re-level Preston Point Oval and 

$734,000 on roads footpaths and drainage.

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