Wagga City Council has adopted a target to hit 100,000 residents over the next 20 years in its annual report.
Mayor Greg Conkey said the highlights in the short term were a balanced budget and strong results from major assets like the Livestock Marketing Centre, which hit $3.5 billion in sales over 10 years, and the airport.
“We remain the leading city in rural and regional NSW and we are in a very strong financial position,” he said.
“(The population) is growing at over 1 per cent now; if we increase it to 2 per cent, which is what the state government is keen to assist us to do, we can hit that 100,000 mark in about 20 years’ time.”
Cr Conkey said there were “a lot of exciting things” happening in Wagga with the completion of the flood levee stage one this month and the start of work on stage two due in January.
“The multipurpose stadium will be completed and handed over to the city on December 17, it’s a fantastic stadium and will be able to accommodate a variety of events,” he said.
“We are hopefully starting soon 43 kilometres of bike paths around Wagga and in addition to that there is the cycling centre at Pomingalarna.”
Cr Conkey said the council was receiving assistance from the state and federal governments to meet the long-term population goal.
The 2017-18 annual report used the results of a community survey to establish “key areas for improvement” such as “maintenance of local roads, financial management, long-term planning for Wagga Wagga, car parking and maintenance of footpaths”.
“The survey showed that 77 per cent of residents were at least somewhat satisfied with council’s overall performance, on par with the 2015 survey result of 80 per cent,” the report stated.
“Overall, there was at least a moderate level of satisfaction with most of council’s services and facilities.”
Cr Conkey said road maintenance was a major issue for Wagga, but a lack of a share in state revenue from vehicle registrations and fuel taxes meant that most councils faced the same problem.
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