The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved Shoalhaven City Council’s application for a Special Rate Variation, on a permanent basis.
This means the rate increase of 13.2 per cent that had been applied last year, will be retained with a further increase of 5 per cent (which includes the rate peg of 2.3 per cent) for the next three years is also applied.
This will mean the average residential ratepayer will pay an extra $59 per year for the 2018/19 financial year or $1.10 per week and about $2 per week for business rates and farmland.
“IPART’s assessment process is rigorous and having completed their review, they have agreed that this additional revenue is needed if Council is to provide the infrastructure and services that our community needs,” director of finance corporate and community services Stephen Dunshea said.
“The assessment by IPART clearly showed that council had met all of their criteria and the increase was reasonable.
“The increase in rates last year helped to deliver some key projects for our community which included an additional $2M in road resurfacing and rehabilitation works on a number of our road networks. We will now be able to continue to deliver into the future.”
Mayor Amanda Findley said while it wasn’t an easy decision, “it is important that we plan not only for the now but also for the future”.
“In approving the increase IPART have acknowledged that renewing road infrastructure and delivering reliable services were high priorities for the community,” she said.
“This council needs to ensure that it delivers facilities and services that will provide for our population, but also the population to come. We need to make smart financial decisions now.”
Cr Findley said without the approval, council would have continued to operate in a deficit and be unable to maintain infrastructure and facilities, let alone provide new facilities.
“Despite recent statements about council’s financial status, what this approval clearly demonstrates to our community is that this process was necessary and that it is reasonable,” she said.
“The announcement will now enable council to provide upgrades at a number of sporting fields, undertake further streetscapes works, provide improvements to community facilities and provide new public amenities and improvements to local roads.”
For further information visit council's get involved page.