A Smithton CBD upgrade and fewer, better playgrounds are likely for Circular Head in the next few years. " ... we've just started work looking at rationalisation of our play areas," Mayor Gerard Blizzard said. Cr Blizzard confirmed that was likely to lead to fewer - but also improved - play areas and surrounds. He said neither Smithton nor Stanley would miss out. It was too early to say whether new sites would be developed or improvements would be made at existing sites. "In most communities, we've got all these small little pockets," he said. "That's an expensive and difficult way to do them." He expected community consultation would take place in the new year. "We need to look at how, what, when and why," Cr Blizzard said. "It's very early stages." He expected feasibility study work on the Smithton CBD upgrade would start in 2024-25. The council recorded an underlying surplus of about $260,000 for 2022-23. Cr Blizzard said that was better than expected. He said the council had continued to engage in the local government review and awaited the outcome. "Whatever that may be, I am confident that council is very well placed to meet community needs," Cr Blizzard said in the council's draft 2022-23 annual report. There has been talk of a potential merger with neighbouring Waratah-Wynyard, but that is not certain. "The past 12 months has been a time of steady progress and significant decisions, primarily the controversial Robbins Island wind farm development, which gave the team an early insight into the intricacies of planning legislation," Cr Blizzard said. The year included approval of housing developments at Massey Street, Smithton, and Dovecote Road, Stanley. Cr Blizzard said more proposals were in the pipeline. "There has been substantial progress towards the development of a master plan for Stanley's Church Street, which has benefited from considerable community input and looks set to significantly improve visitor experience and boost the town's small businesses," he said. Council general manager Vanessa Adams said the council made substantial progress in 2022-23. "Of the 194 projects in the 2022-23 annual action plan, 141 were finalised, with a further eight at 50 per cent or over," she said. "This includes a significant reduction in projects carried forwards from previous years."