Council adopts 2023/2024 budget

Published on Wednesday, 30 August 2023 at 10:24:56 AM


Council adopts 2023/2024 Budget: Improved delivery of services with 4.75% rates increase.



At a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday 29 August 2023 the Shire of Ravensthorpe 2023/2024 budget was adopted, a reflection of the Shire's dedication to both responsible financial management and strategic investment in vital community infrastructure. 

“It is a good budget and we’re pleased to have kept general rate increases low compared to other local government authorities, whilst also ensuring improved service delivery and allocating funds towards road and airport reserves,” said Cr Keith Dunlop, Shire President. 

Council has carefully considered and approved a rate increase of 4.75%. This ensures the Shire's ability to uphold essential services, enhance community amenities, and invest in projects that contribute to the growth of the community. 

Contributing to the budget opening balance was $1.7M in 23/24 federal Financial Assistance Grants paid in advance in June 2023 and $2.2M of grants owed as at 30 June 2023, mostly from the Building Better Regions Fund which has $1.88M owed from construction of the Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct. Total carried forward as a budget opening position was $4.7M.     

Aiming for an $80k surplus by June 30, 2024, the overall budget strategy was a focus on strategic revenues after a succession of years of constraint and cost absorption, which started from the state-imposed freeze in rates during 2020/2021. Critical reviews of Shire fees and charges were carried out. 

Over the past two years, the Shire witnessed rising costs in tandem with increased mining production, propelling Ravensthorpe into the state's top 10 mineral wealth producers.

Key cost pressures included yearly rises in road maintenance, fuel, and employment expenses. The essential Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, crucial for skilled staff recruitment and retention, featured an annual increase.  

This budget aims to replenish depleted strategic asset reserves from post-COVID stimulus projects, notably the Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct. Surplus funds from the mining upswing will also boost the airport reserve, a better position compared to past heavy subsidisation during downturns. 

Council's financially responsible budget focuses on reserves, emergency services, airport enhancements, community services, and staff, including new trainee positions. Priority areas encompass heightened airport investment, ongoing early learning centre subsidies, and sustained support for various community groups. 

Features of the budget include:

Rates have been set with an overall increase of 4.75% (last year 3.5%) across general categories with an additional focus on mining as a result of road infrastructure pressures. 

Capital works program is $8,107,000. 

Significant capital works projects and plant replacement $100k or over: 

  • $352k Hopetoun rural bushfire shed (completion)
  • $100k Hopetoun foreshore upgrade
  • $450k Ravensthorpe precinct solar
  • $119k Bedford Harbour Road construction
  • $809k Jerdacuttup Road reconstruction
  • $110k Ravensthorpe depot upgrades
  • $115k Side tipper
  • $130k Airport tractor and slasher


You can read the full details in the adopted budget here.

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