At the Shoalhaven City Council Strategy and Assets Committee held on 11 October 2016, Council recommended to proceed with the application for a Special Rate Variation Application for 2017/18 and 2018/19.
This recommendation must still go to the Ordinary meeting of Council to be held on the 25th October 2016 and is not a final decision of Council.
The proposal for the above rate peg rate increases in 2017/18 and 2018/19 form part of Council’s adopted “Fit for the Future” financial plan submitted to IPART in 2015 and the basis of Council being assessed as “fit for the future”.
Russ Pigg General Manager said “It is essential that Council meets these measures to ensure ongoing “Fit for the Future” status. There is a mandate from the State Government that Council needs to meet, the benchmarks have been set for us.”
“Council’s average residential rates are currently 20%-45% lower than other NSW Councils of similar size, scale and nature and we need to ensure that Council continues to maintain financial sustainability into the future.”
“The figure of $600 that has been suggested is incorrect, for the average ratepayer, it is much less than that, however waterfront lots on Jervis Bay would pay a higher amount because of higher valuations.”
“Council will be undertaking an extensive community consultation process to explain to the community the proposed increase, reasons for the increase and how the additional funds will be spent to maintain services and facilities. But more importantly what additional works on key infrastructure like roads, drainage and public buildings can be achieved with the increase in rate revenue.”
Council needs to do two critical things:
- Do more work to maintain existing assets in a better condition
- Meet the state government mandated expectations
“Council simply cannot do this within the existing rate structures.”
“The proposed increase will see the average ratepayer pay an extra $139.00 in 2017/18, a further $157 in 2018/19 and then revert back to the normal ratepeg increases in future years.”
The ordinary meeting will be held on the 25th October 2016, at Council Chambers Bridge Road Nowra commencing at 4pm.