Capital works program ahead of schedule

Mardi Water Treatment Plant

Central Coast Council is tracking ahead of schedule in its budgeted capital works program, having commenced 220 projects out of a total of more than 311 projects scheduled for the current financial year.

Central Coast Council Director Infrastructure Services Boris Bolgoff said it was important to deliver to the community a capital works program that builds new and renews assets.

“Most Council services are delivered to the community through the use of assets and Council manages assets valued at $8.3B on behalf of the Central Coast community,” he said.

“Our asset management program is extensive and takes a long-term view of the life of an asset.

“Our challenges are prioritising all the projects and scheduling them.

“However, the run of good weather we have had in the last few months has really helped us complete existing projects, get new ones underway and stay ahead of schedule for this financial year.”

As at 30 September 2023, Council’s capital works program was tracking at 107 per cent against budget, with an expenditure of $46.9M compared to a phased budget of $43.8M.

Following the 2023-2024 Quarterly review in September, Council’s overall capital expenditure is proposed to increase by $13.5M from $203M to $216.5M, predominantly made possible by an increase in externally funded natural disaster road projects across the region – particularly in the Wiseman’s Ferry to Spencer area.

Bolgoff said some current major projects include the new Gosford Regional Library, the Mardi Water Treatment Plant major upgrade and the Hue Hue Rd pavement upgrade.

“The library project is a very visible one, and as we speak the demolition of the existing building on the site in Gosford is almost complete, with the construction of the new building commencing in mid-January,” he said.

“The formal opening of the new library is on track for early 2025.”

Bolgoff said the Mardi Water Treatment Plant upgrade was also on track, with construction due to commence in mid-2024.

“The Hue Hue Rd project is of critical importance to the community on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

“To date two segments of Hue Hue Rd, totalling 1.75km, have been successfully rehabilitated.

“This road, being a critical rural distributer carrying a significant volume of traffic, was suffering from severe deterioration requiring continual maintenance to ensure road user safety.

“The rehabilitation of the road has restored the pavement to an excellent condition which will greatly reduce the maintenance burden and improve the user safety for the next 20 years.”

Council is looking to undertake works on an additional two segments of Hue Hue Rd later in the financial year.

Council Administrator Rik Hart said because Council is now in a stable financial position, work is getting done on assets throughout the community.

“No council can entirely fund major capital works programs in their local government area – particularly where there have been devastating natural disasters,” he said.

“Funding from federal and/or state governments is crucial in being able to undertake some major repairs, upgrades or even new capital works projects – particularly in the roads space.

“The fact that we are ahead of schedule with our capital works program means the community is being, or will be, delivered completed projects as planned in the operational plan.”