At the last Ordinary Meeteing, Shoalhaven City Council debated a proposal for the continuation of the Special Rate Variation. Council adopted to move forward to continue the path of ensuring ongoing financial sustainability, however a rescission motion was put forward by Clr Pakes, Clr Waston and Clr Proudfoot. This means that the matter will again be debated at a further meeting to be held in the coming weeks.
The special rate proposal is as follows:
1.That Council retain the 13.2% special rate variation, approved as a one-off increase in 2017/18 by IPART as a permanent increase.
2.That an increase of 5% including the rate peg be proposed to be applied from 2018/19 until 2020/21.
Mayor Findley said” Council must continue to ensure that it is financially sustainable into the future.”
“There is two very clear options for Council to adopt. Either we cut our services to reduce the amount of money we are spending or we increase the revenue that we receive each year.”
“We can ask our community whether they would like their pools to be closed or their library services to be reduced or road maintenance to be reduced, but from what we have already heard, I am sure that the answer to this will be a resounding no.”
“Our community want Council to continue to provide them with services and meet their needs.”
“Our only option is therefore to seek additional revenue to ensure that we can meet ongoing community expectations.”
“We have listened to the community and staff have put forward a recommended rate increase approach, that is significantly reduced from previous proposals.”
“This will mean that we may not meet the State Government benchmarks required of us in the time originally nominated. “
“Further discussion will be occurring on this matter at a future Council meeting and there will be a process of ongoing community engagement that will need to occur.”