Port Hedland council passes 2012-13 budget
Port Hedland council passes 2012-13 budget

The Town of Port Hedland will spend a record $181 million this financial year after council approved the 2012-13 Budget on Thursday night.

Big ticket items include $24 million for the redevelopment of Port Hedland airport, and a $485,000 upgrade of the Matt Dann Cultural Centre.

The airport funds form part of a five-year, $70.5 million plan to bring the facility into line with soaring passenger numbers.

The average resident can expect a rate increase of about $370 on last year, with council to collect $21.5 million in rates over the coming 12 months.

South Hedland and Wedgefield homes and businesses can also expect to shell out more than $1000 for connection to Horizon Power’s new underground power system.

Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett said the budget provided money for the Town to increase staff by up to 29 employees, despite another 23 full-time positions being required to handle the council’s ever-increasing workload.

She said the drainage construction program also received a budget boost, with $425,000 allowing it to double in scope. Meanwhile, a new roundabout will be built on Hamilton Road to replace the intersection into Wanangkura Stadium and Faye Gladstone Netball Courts to cater for increased traffic.

On the administrative side, the annual bin service fee has increased by $8.50 to $220.70, following a $6 rise last year. The cost of premium service has jumped $17 to $441.40.

Grave digging fees are also on the up, increasing by $26.90 for adults on weekdays and more than $50 on Saturdays.

Councillor sitting fees have increased from last year’s budget by almost $1000 each, while the Mayoral allowance ($60,000) and sitting fees ($14,000) remain unchanged.

More than $85,000 worth of rate concessions were approved, including 16 properties with total concession and three with a 50 per cent discount.

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