Council adopts Operational Plan and Budget for 2022-23

Construction of the Gosford Regional Library will finally begin

Central Coast Council has adopted its Delivery Program 2022-2025, including the Operational Plan and Budget, Fees and Charges for 2022/23, with some amendments prompted by a recent determination by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) on water charges.

Council CEO, David Farmer, said the main amendments to the Operational Plan and Budget related to addressing some service areas where Council is not meeting community expectations and updates to reflect IPART’s determination on water, sewer and storm-water drainage pricing.

“There is increased budget allocation for key service areas of local roads maintenance, vegetation management, for more staff resources in development assessment and to meet our legislative requirements to develop Plans of Management,” Farmer said.

“Additionally, we are taking a cautious budgetary approach and have allocated a contingency for increased electricity costs due to current volatility in the electricity market.

“Our budget reflects zero increases to the domestic waste management service charges for most of our customers, a one percent increase in rates and commencement of staggered increases to water and sewer service charges.

“These changes still maintain pricing of our water and sewer services as the lowest in the surrounding regions and the third lowest provider nationally.”

Farmer said Council had been stabilised and was focussed on providing residents with the services they “deserve and need” through financial sustainability.

Administrator, Rik Hart, said the adopted plans were responsive to community needs and demonstrated Council’s financial stability after a period of turmoil.

“Our financial discipline over the last 18 months resulting in the significant financial turnaround of this organisation means we have the flexibility to be more responsive to community concerns and external cost pressures,” he said.

“The forecast surpluses for the financial years ending 2022 and 2023 are being responsibly allocated for repayments towards the emergency loans and for priority service areas.

“These adjustments keep us on track with our 10-year Long-Term Financial Plan that provides for long-term financial stability for the organisation.”

During the public exhibition of the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) documents from May 25-June 21, Council received a total of 37 submissions.

The key items raised were comments and objections on the increase of rates, water and sewer, and fees and charges; comments and suggestions on projects, actions and activities detailed in the plans and requests for projects to be brought forward or for additional projects and activities to be included.

Among projects included in the Operational Plan are the commencement of construction on the Gosford Regional Library, continued pathway construction at Magenta and Tuggerawong, and playspace upgrades at Wyongah, Blue Haven, Berkeley Vale, Koolewong, Tuggerah, and Killarney Vale.

Also slated are road upgrades at Woy Woy, Lisarow, Budgewoi and Shelly Beach and gross pollutant trap works at Toukley, Copacabana, East Gosford, and Halekulani.

An investigation of food organics and garden organics (FOGO) processing solutions will be undertaken and the Central Coast Housing Strategy will be completed.

District Place Plans for Wyong and The Peninsula are also included, along with Year 2 actions of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan and engagement on the comprehensive Community Strategic Plan.

The adopted integrated plans are available at

The Operational Plan and Budget 2022/23 at a glance:

Capital works budget amended, increasing from $168.2M to $176.5M, to accommodate 16 projects that are continuing from 2021-22, with delivery impacted by global distribution issues, availability of contractors, resourcing issues due to COVID and significant weather events.

$597.7M in Operating Income.

$587.9M in Operating Expenditure.

$9.8M Net Operating Result (excluding Capital Grants and Contributions).

$75.9M in Capital Grants and Contributions.

Terry Collins