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Municipal Plan 2021/22

The record 2021/22 capital expenditure will deliver economic stimulus to our city and important community infrastructure including the Casuarina Aquatic and Leisure Centre and the Civic Centre redevelopment projects.

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  • $55 million to deliver the Casuarina Aquatic and Leisure Centre and Civic Centre redevelopments
  • $29.1 million investment in sports and recreation infrastructure
  • $14 million Shoal Bay Waste Management facility cell capping
  • $9.3 million to maintain parks and green spaces across the municipality
  • $3.3 million Lee Point Road upgrade
  • $2.25 million Velodrome improvements
  • $2.1 million Better Suburbs and enhancements projects
  • $1.9 million towards creating a Safer Darwin
  • $1.4 million stormwater upgrades and reconstruction
  • $1.3 million tree establishment program.

Rates increases

  • Residential rates will increase by 2.5% for the 2021/22 financial year. This would see the general rates, for the average rateable property in the Darwin municipality, to be around $1,239. A $36 annual increase from 2020/21.
  • Parking fees in the city centre will also increase by an average of 5.5%. This is the first time in four years that parking fees have increased and equates to 10c/hour or more for on-street parking.
  • Public pool entrance fees will be increasing by 50c for children and $1.00 for adults.

The moratorium on outdoor dining fees has ended so charges will apply from 1 July 2021 and will remain the same as 2019/20.

City of Darwin continues to provide support for events, festivals and to not-for profit organisations through $1.6 million allocated to sponsorships, grants and operating subsidies.

Operating expenditure is $123.4 million and operating income $109.4 million, a small increase from last year.

Employee costs have increased by 6% due mainly to Council’s decision to deliver more capital and operational activities by its own staff. The increase is offset by reductions in the need for external contractors and materials.

Council continues to collaborate and partner with the Northern Territory and Federal Governments, peak industry groups and key stakeholders to ensure opportunities are realised for the betterment of the community.


Fees & Charges

Which fees and charges have increased?

Public Swimming Pools, Car Parking, Community Centre hire and Waste are areas with the most significant change.

What are the increase in swimming pool charges?

Fees and charges at Council pools have largely remained at the current rate since 1 July 2013. Single entry fees have increased between .50c to $1 (family entry $2.50 increase). There will also be an increase on all Multi-pass cards, proportionate to the single entry fee increase. No increase to any other fees, such as lane hire or whole pool hire.  

What are the increases to car parking fees?

Parking fees in the city centre will increase by an average of 5.5%. This is the first time in four years that parking fees have increased and equates to 10c/hour for on-street parking. 

What are the increases for Community Centre hire?

Fees for the hire of Council’s community centres at Lyons, Malak and Nightcliff have increased for commercial or private hirers by approximately 20%. This is to bring the fee structure in line with the libraries hiring fee structure. 

What is happening with Outdoor Dining fees?

A moratorium on outdoor dining fees was introduced for 2019/20 to assist businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown measures. Darwin is recovering well in this area with the introduction of the myDarwin voucher initiative, other NTG incentives and an increase in visitors. Outdoor dining fees will be applied from 1 July 2021 at the same rates that were set for 2019/20. 

Why has the Waste Levy increased by $13?

The fee increase is to meet the costs of kerbside collections and contributes to infrastructure and environmental management requirements at Shoal Bay – the rise represents 4.6% - from $284 to $297.

Why have you increased the annual access tag fee for non-Darwin and non-Waste Charge users?

This charge has been increased to the same level that a Darwin resident pays for an annual access tag of $284 per annum. 

Why have you introduced new waste disposal fees for non-Darwin and non-Waste Charge users?

A new Waste Gate Fee Structure for non-Darwin and non-Waste Charge users (per Shoal Bay visit) has been introduced to cover the costs of managing additional waste disposal at the Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility.

Are pet registration fees increasing?

Council is not raising fees for animal registrations apart from an increase to annual de-sexed cat registrations from $11 to $16


Why has Council increased residential rates by 2.5% and is the comparable to the current CPI?

Council has increased its rates to continue to provide the range and level of service expected by the community.

CPI is not a measure of the cost of service. It relates to the cost of a basket of essential items at a point in time. 

The rate increase provides a plan to ensure the financial sustainability of the Council.   

Has the revaluation of land affected rates?

The NT Valuer General conducted its triennial revaluation of land in the Darwin Municipality earlier this year. This revaluation has been applied to Council’s rating strategy for rates levied in 2021/22

As part of the budget process Council determines the amount it must receive as income from rates to be able to provide services. 

Rates income in 2020/21 was set at $65.4M. In 2021/22, the amount of income Council has budgeted to receive from rates has increased by 2.5% to $67.3M (factoring in growth).

Overall, the larger the decrease in land valuation, the lesser the impact any rates rise will have on ratepayers. The lesser the decrease in land valuation, the greater the impact any rates increase will have on ratepayers.

Details on Council rates is on page 69 of the draft 2021/22 Municipal Plan.

Capital works key projects

Where is Council getting the funds to redevelop the Civic Centre and Casuarina Aquatic and Leisure Centre (CALC)?

Council will be utilising the Car Parking Reserves and the Sale of Land Reserve to fund the $30M Civic Centre Building & Car Park upgrade project and is looking to fund the $25M CALC project through grants and external borrowings.

Elected Members Allowances

Why have Elected Member allowances and expenses increased when their allowances are staying the same as previous year?

Although Elected Member allowances have not changed budgets have been adjusted to reflect the full entitlement amount if all entitlements were taken up in the year.


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