Fallout from coronavirus pandemic expected to hit budget
As Tamworth Regional Council’s budget and operational plan for the next financial year goes on public exhibition, Mayor Col Murray said the full financial impact of the Coronavirus is yet to be seen. Council’s Draft Annual Operational Plan 2020-21 is now available for the community to review and provide their feedback to council. Tamworth Regional Council proposes to spend a total of $195.3 million across its general, water and sewerage funds in 2020-21 while collecting $71.9 million in income from rates and annual charges and delivering $90.713 million in capital works to improve local facilities and infrastructure. The biggest new construction project for the upcoming financial year is focused on the precinct surrounding the proposed Tamworth Global Gateway Park at Westdale.
This includes $8.029 million for a new Country Road Roundabout, $10.94 million for stormwater drainage works and $3 million for the start of construction for the Taminda Ring Road. “We are all aware of the huge economic impact COVID-19 health measures are having on business in our region around Australia and around the work,” Cr Murray said. “Council is taking a hit too - we already know that this financial year our income will be cut by $4 million. What is not yet clear is how our financial position will unfold in the year ahead because the ongoing effects are simply not yet known. “When the budget for 2020-21 was being finalised the impact of COVID-19 was just starting to be felt and Councillors want the community to understand we expect there may be considerable variances to our forecasted financial results.” Cr Murray assured the community the Council’s core services and projects will go ahead. He added that some of the initial plans for areas of the business which have been impacted by COVID-19 such as events, and entertainment venues may be revised but only time will tell. Cr Murray said it remains important for community members to take the opportunity to give feedback on council‘s proposed budget and the delivery program of projects, services and activities. “This is what sets out the year ahead for Council – it shows what we will do and how we will fund it,” he said. “While due to COVID-19 we will not be having our usual community information sessions across the region, we will be organising some online meetings and have published the key documents and other information on our MyTRC Online Community portal which includes an easy-to-complete feedback form. “Any residents without online access can call our customer service centre on 6767 5555 and we will mail out printed copies to them.” The Annual Operational Plan page can be found at: https://yourvoice.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/annual-operational-plan-2020-21 After the public exhibition, a further report will be considered by Council in June for final adoption.