Council approves supporting documents for SRV application
Published on 30 January 2024
Council convened an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday to consider changes to four plans and procedures that will be submitted as supporting documents for the Special Rate Variation (SRV) application.
Attending Councillors were Cr. Hauville (Mayor and Chairperson), Cr. Bain, Cr. Butterfield, Cr. Riddington, Cr. Ring, Cr. Saul, Cr. Wyatt, Cr. Patterson and Cr. Ferguson. There were no apologies.
You can read the detailed agenda and reports in the business papers and a video of the meeting can be viewed on Council's YouTube page and below.
Supporting documents for the Special Rate Variation application approved
In November 2023, Council resolved to proceed with an SRV application to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
That application is due to be submitted by 5 February 2024.
The application must include several supporting documents, including the adopted Long Term Financial Plan and the Strategic Asset Management Plan, as well as the Hardship Relief to Ratepayers Procedure and Recovery of Unpaid Rates, Charges and Other Debts Procedure.
Council has taken the opportunity to review and update these documents which were all recently exhibited.
Council thanked the community for the submissions received during the public exhibition period, noting that submissions received related to the SRV will be included in the application.
Council unanimously agreed to adopt the following documents which will be attached to Council’s Special Rate Variation application to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) under s508A Local Government Act 1993:
Long Term Financial Plan
Every year, Council exhibits and adopts a Long Term Financial Plan. This outlines the strategies and actions required to achieve financial sustainability.
The Long Term Financial Plan adopted in 2023 forecast a ten-year General Fund operating deficit of $103 million. It also included three potential rate rise scenarios to be implemented over three years commencing in July 2024.
The adopted Long Term Financial Plan includes a revised forecast deficit of $72M. This is a $31M improvement to the previous plan. The updated document also includes the proposed rate rise scenarios within the General Fund that are in the IPART application which are intended to increase revenue and return Council to a balanced budget position.
Strategic Asset Management Plan
The Strategic Asset Management Plan, adopted in June 2022, contains details of the approximately 30,000 Council assets, worth over $1.3 billion.
The Strategic Asset Management Plan has been reviewed and updated to reflect the asset values as at 30 June 2023. It also contains updated 'level of service' graphs for sealed roads, and updated service category modelling for major asset classes.
Hardship Relief to Ratepayers Procedure
The Hardship Relief to Ratepayers Procedure outlines the available avenues for debt relief.
It has been updated to make it clearer and easier for people to understand. It also contains a commitment from Council to communicate and promote these options to the community.
Recovery of Unpaid Rates, Charges and Other Debts Procedure
This procedure outlines the support and steps Council takes to work with ratepayers to manage debt and make payment possible, within the restrictions of the NSW legislative framework.
The steps include reminder notices when behind in rates, explanation of payment options or payment plans, and if all else fails, a debt recovery process.
The absolute last resort is sale of land when there are more than five years in unpaid rates.
Other Business considered in open session
There was no other business.
You can view the January 2024 agenda, official minutes, and business papers at Council meeting agendas & minutes.
The meeting was live-streamed via Council's YouTube page
Watch the recording of the meeting video here.