The City of Sydney has boldly announced that it will embark on a series of building and construction projects valued at a total cost of $1.94 billion over the next 10 years to provide new and refurbished facilities catering for the city’s rapidly growing population and workforce.
The total cost is an unprecedented amount that the City has allocated to some of its key works projects in what it calls its “largest ever capital spending program”.
The announcement comes as part of the City’s draft 2014-15 Budget and 10 year corporate plan that includes funding for new existing and ongoing projects.
These projects include the new Green Square precinct for $440 million; the radical transformation of George Street and the connecting of laneways as part of the light rail project for $220 million; upgrading of footpaths, roadways and paving for $240 million; and upgrading parks and green spaces for $130 million.
The City also has also proclaimed that it is in a “strong financial position” as a result of the $106 million annual operational surplus in its draft 2014-15 Budget.
The financing of such a large series of projects comes as a significant triumph for Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who said that over the last 10 years the City has consistently delivered debt-free budgets, kept residential rates amongst the lowest in the Sydney metropolitan area and provided free rates for pensioners.
Ms Moore said the 10 year financial plan is a “massive investment to nurture” the city’s liveability, its economy, its tourism, its sustainability, its open spaces and its cultural life.
“Almost 40 per cent of all additional jobs in metropolitan Sydney in the last five years were created in the City of Sydney. Our rate of employment growth is double that of the rest of Sydney. We are also one of the fastest growing residential areas in NSW,” Ms Moore said.
“Attracting new businesses and jobs doesn’t happen by accident”, Ms Moore said. “It takes careful planning and investment.”
She said the last decade of “responsible financial management and future planning” as well as close consultation with the community has put the City in a strong financial position allowing it to provide the facilities and services necessary to ensure Sydney maintains its reputation as a “leading global city”.
“Five years ago, less than 50 per cent of our residents lived and worked in our local area – that figure has now increased to 65 per cent. By creating a city where people come first, we’ve seen that jobs and new businesses also follow,” Ms Moore said.
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