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Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold labels budget ‘big win’ for community

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Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold has labelled council’s annual budget a “big win” for the community.

Roads, recreation and the environment were at the centre of the organisation’s operational plan, which was sanctioned at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Council endorsed a $163m annual budget for infrastructure, services and projects for the rapidly growing city, with a $780m program set for the next four years.

Cr Penfold was thrilled with the outcome.

“We’re proud to be delivering services, critical infrastructure and major projects the community has been calling out for,” he said.

“There is a huge focus on the things the residents value: roads, recreation and the environment.”

The budget for the 2022/23 financial year includes record spending on infrastructure.

It includes a massive push on maintenance such as works on 161 roads as well as the networks in Thornton, Chisholm and Lochinvar.

In community facilities, there will be new amenities in Maitland Park; the transformation of Town Hall into a venue capable of hosting shows, bands and acts; completion of the Maitland Administration Building; progression of the Morpeth to Walka Water Works shared pathway; design for new sportsgrounds in the west and multipurpose community centres in the east of the city; and overhauls of sportsground amenities.

The environmental space is not forgotten either, with increased tree planting, a focus on the health of the Hunter River, a citywide approach to sustainability, and construction starting at the Mount Vincent Waste Transfer Station.

The budget and projects to be completed were endorsed as part of the most recent Delivery Program and Operational Plan, which are documents outlining everything council will work on for the next four years, from the resurfacing of a local road to the building of a regional facility.

Also approved on Tuesday was Maitland+10, a “big picture” strategic plan that guides all decisions, which was developed from the community’s ideas on how they want the city to look, feel and work in the future.

All documents were developed following extensive consultation and a period of public exhibition.

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