Lake Community to Have Their Say on Rate Options

about 8 years ago

Lake Macquarie City Council last night endorsed the final stage of a six-month consultation process in which the community will be asked to have their say on three rate increase options.


Lake Macquarie City Council last night endorsed the final stage of a six-month consultation process in which the community will be asked to have their say on three rate increase options.

The three options are: one to maintain rate increases at capped levels, one to maintain services with increased rates, and one to improve services with a higher increase in rates.

Council's Director Corporate Services, Wayne Jack, said this is one of the most important decisions facing residents and councillors.

"People living in Lake Macquarie value a quality lifestyle, based around our beautiful lake, coastline, and bushland," Mr Jack said.

"For Council, delivering this quality of life comes down to maintaining and improving our assets – our natural environment, as well as our roads and cycleways, sporting and cultural facilities, parks and playgrounds, and vibrant town centres."

"It is important now that we go back to the community and ask them which one of the three options they prefer."

"Over the next two months we will conduct a series of face-to-face workshops, send an information pack with a mail-in slip to all households across the city, and Hunter Valley Research Foundation will also conduct a telephone survey of a representative sample of the community."

"The Securing Our Future online forum at www.haveyoursaylakemac.com.au/securingourfuture will also be open until the first week of December, and we encourage community members to go online and have their say."

The three rate options endorsed by Council for further community consultation are:

Option 1: Reduce Services - Maintain Rates
Average rate increase each year for seven years (in line with the anticipated 3% rate cap set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal).

This equates to an average increase of:

Residential $30.60 Business $104.23

This option requires an $11.7M reduction in operating and capital expenditure in 2012/13 and a $112M reduction in spending across operating and capital expenditure over seven years. There will be a major reduction in roads and infrastructure maintenance and a significant reduction in services across all areas of Council with a corresponding reduction of 123 staff. Some major reductions include environmental works, library services, and pool closures.

Option 2: Maintain Services – Increase Rates
Average rate increase each year for seven years (includes 3% rate cap).

Residential $73.56 ( 7.42% increase) Business $326.17 ( 9.78% increase)

This option maintains current levels of service to the community, including pools and libraries, and provides funding for infrastructure renewal and upgrades to parks and sporting grounds. Funding for road maintenance will only keep pace with rising costs. The quality of our roads will continue to decline.

Option 3: Improve Services - Increase Rates
Average rate increase each year for seven years (includes 3% rate cap).

Residential $92.89 ( 9.89% increase) Business $421.34 ( 12.77% increase)

This option improves levels of service to the community and supports an additional program of works for pools, libraries, parks and playgrounds, upgrades to town centres, and funding for infrastructure renewal.

Key Dates

November

A series of seven community workshops will take place around the city during November. Dates, locations, and times will be released as soon as they are confirmed.

Thursday 15 December 2011

The results of this consultation and the community's preferred option will be reported to Council. If Options 2 or 3 are chosen, Council will need to resolve to prepare an application for a special rate variation to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

Friday 24 February 2012

IPART application due.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

IPART announces rate variation determinations

Categories: consultation

Consultation has concluded