Yearly budget to go on exhibition and a new waste strategy

Published on 18 April 2023

a man in a recycling centre

Placing Council’s plans for the year ahead on exhibition, approving a special rate variation investigation and locking in better waste management were among the items on the agenda for Council's meeting in April.

The ordinary meeting was held in Council Chambers from 9am on Tuesday 18 April.

For a full outline of the meeting, the discussion points and supporting documentation, please refer to Council meeting agendas & minutes.

The meeting was also live-streamed via Council's YouTube page

Yearly budget approved for exhibition

Councillors approved the draft suite of Integrated Planning and Reporting documents, including the annual budget for 2023-24 to be placed on public exhibition.

At a local level, these documents are equivalent to the Federal and State Government’s Budgets.

The suite of documents includes:

  • 2023-24 Operational Plan, essentially Council's annual budget, and 2022-26 Delivery Program
  • 2023-24 Revenue Policy
  • 2023-24 Fees and Charges
  • 2023-24 Rates Maps, and
  • 2023-33 Long Term Financial Plan, a 10 year financial forecast that is updated annually.

The Operational Plan includes key projects that are planned to progress in 2023-24 such as:

  • Water treatment plants at Willawarrin, Steuart McIntyre Dam and Crescent Head
  • Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme development
  • Horseshoe Bay walkway and headland carpark
  • Verge and Eden Street Sporting Complex, forecast to be finished by June 2024.

These draft documents will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days through Your Say Macleay. 

Residents are encouraged to comment on the documents before they will be presented to the June meeting for adoption.

Note: Every year, an Operational Plan is created relating to a four-year Delivery Program. 

The 2022-26 Delivery Program was approved last year and has now been integrated with the 2023-24 Operational Plan. 

The Operational Plan outlines the actions, activities and projects that will be used each year to achieve Delivery Program commitments.

The Delivery Program, which spans four years, sets out a plan to achieve the vision outlined in the 2042 Community Strategic Plan.

Special Rate Variation investigation to go ahead

Council has resolved to investigate the feasibility of applying for a special rate variation as a solution to achieving a financially sustainable position into the future.

Council’s Long Term Financial Plan indicates multiple years of ongoing operating deficits when capital grants and contributions are excluded.

The investigation project will dedicate resources to review detailed financial modelling, asset management planning and levels of capital spending. Additionally, substantial community engagement and information sharing will be at the heart of the investigation, to inform residents and allow them to provide feedback on the difficult decisions required.

A report outlining the results of the investigation will be presented to Council at the November meeting. Should Council then resolve to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW (IPART) for a special rate variation, changes to rates and other potential service impacts could be implemented from the 2024-25 financial year. 

Modern waste management locked in

Councillors voted unanimously to adopt the Kempsey Shire Waste Management Strategy 2022-32.

This strategy was developed through extensive engagement with residents. The plan will help Council transition from an adequate waste management service to one of leadership and innovation in recourse recovery and waste prevention. 

The Waste Management Strategy will be available at

General Manager’s authority to waive commercial fees

Councillors discussed the possibility of granting delegation to the General Manager to waive or reduce Commercial Licence Fees for Indigenous enterprises, cultural activities, and minimal use of Council land. 

The matter generated passionate discussion among the Councillors, ultimately resulting in a resolution being passed with a vote of 5-4.

The resolution called for the General Manager to conduct a workshop with the Councillors to examine the matter in greater detail before making a final decision.

Order of Business considered in open session

10.1. Integrated Planning and Reporting 2023-2024

10.2. Special Rate Variation Investigation

10.3. Waste Management Strategy 2022-2032

10.4. Delegated authority to waive Commercial Licence Fees

10.5. Disclosure of Interest Returns

10.6. Development Activity and LEP Variations - Quarterly Snapshot - 3rd Quarter 2022/2023

10.7. Statement of Cash and Investments - March 2023

More information

You can read the detailed agenda and reports in the business papers

You can view the meeting on Council's YouTube page