Council to apply for 53% Special Rate Variation
Published on 30 January 2023
A majority of councillors voted to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) of 53% at the Monday 30 January 2023 Extraordinary Meeting of Snowy Monaro Regional Council.
IPART will now consider Council’s application and conduct their own consultation in coming months, before deciding whether to approve the requested increase in rates.
If approved by IPART, Council will meet again to decide whether to apply the approved increase to Snowy Monaro property rates.
Council has prepared a Special Rate Variation calculator for ratepayers to see how much their rates will rise under this scenario – please visit www.yoursaysnowymonaro.com.au/special-rate-variation to access this tool.
This increase would mean Council has sufficient funding to maintain infrastructure and services at their current level, while achieving financial sustainability.
This decision follows an extensive period of public consultation undertaken by Council to gauge the opinion of our 20,000 ratepayers and residents on whether to pursue a Special Rate Variation. While the option ultimately supported by councillors was not the option supported by the majority of the online survey respondents, Council could not ignore the recommendations of the Financial Sustainability Review and recommendations from the NSW Office of Local Government: Council must increase rates to become financially sustainable.
The main focus of the additional funding is to stop the decline in Council’s assets, predominantly the road network, with the funding allowing for a fourfold increase in the extent of renewal works that can be carried out. Based on standard unit cost rates this means Council will be able to reseal 64km of road per year instead of the current 15km. Getting road seals down before the road fails saves 5-6 times the cost of dealing with a failed road.
For the unsealed road network, this will allow 92km per year of gravel sheeting to be completed as opposed to 24km per year, which allows our road network to be restored to an acceptable standard over time.
Council has received significant state and federal funding over the past two years. However, this has gone into specific projects such as Bobeyan Rd, Springfield Rd, Tinderry Rd and has not been able to be used to address the core problem of renewal of other roads and community owned assets such as pools, libraries, halls and buildings.
This decision, if supported by IPART and approved by councillors, will stop the decline in assets.
To view the business paper, attachments or to view a recording of the webcast of the meeting – visit www.snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au/Council/Meetings
For more information, please contact Council on 1300 345 345 or at firstname.lastname@example.org