Securing our Future

Consultation has concluded

Consultation on a rate increase for Lake Macquarie closed on 30 November.

Over the past six months Council has received feedback from thousands of residents about Council services and the proposed rate increases. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate during the consultation period.

Outcomes of the consultation demonstrate clear community support for a rate increase, with 72% of participants supportive of a rate increase above the estimated rate peg of 3%. Of all respondents, 50% gave their support for Option 3, which will improve services and assets across the city.

Council unanimously endorsement Option 3 at an extraordinary meeting of Council on December 15, allowing an application for Option 3 to be made to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

The consultation outcomes confirm what we've heard previously, that Lake Macquarie residents do not want to see Council services cut or assets sold off. They value what Council provides and would like to see our City continue to develop as a great place to live and work, with quality services and infrastructure and a healthy natural environment.

3,257 residents responded to the opportunity to tell Council their preferred option. More than 1784 responded by mail, 661 completed our online survey, 279 took part in our electronic polling at community workshops, 5 written responses, and another 528 responded via an independent and statistically representative phone survey.

The three funding options were developed as part of the community engagement process which commenced in June this year. Consultation was designed to gather feedback not only on the preferred funding option, but on residents' willingness and ability to pay for the proposed rate increases under each option.

Consultation on a rate increase for Lake Macquarie closed on 30 November.

Over the past six months Council has received feedback from thousands of residents about Council services and the proposed rate increases. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate during the consultation period.

Outcomes of the consultation demonstrate clear community support for a rate increase, with 72% of participants supportive of a rate increase above the estimated rate peg of 3%. Of all respondents, 50% gave their support for Option 3, which will improve services and assets across the city.

Council unanimously endorsement Option 3 at an extraordinary meeting of Council on December 15, allowing an application for Option 3 to be made to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

The consultation outcomes confirm what we've heard previously, that Lake Macquarie residents do not want to see Council services cut or assets sold off. They value what Council provides and would like to see our City continue to develop as a great place to live and work, with quality services and infrastructure and a healthy natural environment.

3,257 residents responded to the opportunity to tell Council their preferred option. More than 1784 responded by mail, 661 completed our online survey, 279 took part in our electronic polling at community workshops, 5 written responses, and another 528 responded via an independent and statistically representative phone survey.

The three funding options were developed as part of the community engagement process which commenced in June this year. Consultation was designed to gather feedback not only on the preferred funding option, but on residents' willingness and ability to pay for the proposed rate increases under each option.

Consultation has concluded
  • Sustainability Levy

    almost 8 years ago

    The local environment consistently rates as one of the most important features of the City for residents. Access to the lake, coastline, and bushland provides people with an opportunity to enhance health and wellbeing through outdoor activity and enjoyment of our wildlife and natural places.

    During development of the 10 Year Community Plan in 2008, community feedback rated Caring for the Environment as the most important of Council’s focus areas. The need for additional funds to deliver environmental programs was identified, as the previous Lake Levy which had been in place for 10 years was due to expire. Council...

    The local environment consistently rates as one of the most important features of the City for residents. Access to the lake, coastline, and bushland provides people with an opportunity to enhance health and wellbeing through outdoor activity and enjoyment of our wildlife and natural places.

    During development of the 10 Year Community Plan in 2008, community feedback rated Caring for the Environment as the most important of Council’s focus areas. The need for additional funds to deliver environmental programs was identified, as the previous Lake Levy which had been in place for 10 years was due to expire. Council sought and was granted a special variation, which has come to be known as the Sustainability Levy. It was introduced in 2009 to fund environmental projects, including continuation of lake water quality improvement works. The Levy expires in 2014.


    The local environment consistently rates as one of the most important features of the City for residents. Access to the lake, coastline, and bushland provides people with an opportunity to enhance health and wellbeing through outdoor activity and enjoyment of our wildlife and natural places.

    During development of the 10 Year Community Plan in 2008, community feedback rated Caring for the Environment as the most important of Council's focus areas. The need for additional funds to deliver environmental programs was identified, as the previous Lake Levy which had been in place for 10 years was due to expire.

    Council sought and was granted a special variation, which has come to be known as the Sustainability Levy. It was introduced in 2009 to fund environmental projects, including continuation of lake water quality improvement works. The Levy expires in 2014.

    What happens under each funding option when the Levy finishes in 2014?

    All three funding options include the Sustainability Levy in 2012-2014. As Council intends to continue with its Caring for the Environment programs, it proposes to increase rate income across the 7-year period to enable these works to continue beyond 2014. This increase in rate income is incorporated in Options 2 and 3, but not in Option 1.

    Under Option 1, the Levy funding for environmental works and programs stops in 2014/15. This will also be the case if Council's application for a rate increase is not approved by IPART.

    Under Options 2 and 3, rate increases for the 7-year period will provide additional income to continue Council's current environmental programs beyond 2014. The expiring variation becomes part of the general rate base beyond 2014/15.

    What has been achieved with the Levy?

    Key achievements include:

    • 26 on-ground works projects completed to improve lake water quality
    • Clean Up Lake Macquarie collected 28 tonnes of rubbish over 86 sites with 7,146 volunteers
    • Residents were assisted in saving money, including a 3.9% reduction in citywide electricity use in 2009-2010, and an overall saving to the community of $6M through access to rebates and other programs
    • Award winning climate change adaptation program delivered, including the E-shorance web tool to assess the response of the lake foreshore to predicted sea level rise
    • Inaugural Living Smart Festival attracted 8,000 people
    • Waste to landfill reduced by 23% per capita, and commercial recycling increased by 38%
    • 18 sustainable neighbourhood groups established

    What is planned for the next 7 years?

    In the next 7 years we intend to continue work to:

    • Maintain and improve lake water quality through construction and maintenance of over 70 on-ground works projects
    • Complete over 20 works projects to reduce energy and water consumption in Council and community facilities.
    • Develop local area adaptation plans for all foreshore areas affected by fl ooding and sea level rise
    • Expand our sustainable neighbourhoods program to provide an opportunity for neighbourhoods in the City to work with Council to improve their local environment
    • Continue to support residents and businesses to save money at home and at work through programs to reduce waste generation and resource consumption
  • Lake Community to Have Their Say on Rate Options

    almost 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...

    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

  • Council to Consider Consultation on Three Rate Options

    almost 8 years ago

    Plans to consult Lake Macquarie residents and businesses about options for rate increases will be reported to Lake Macquarie City Council on Tuesday 4 October.


    Plans to consult Lake Macquarie residents and businesses about options for rate increases will be reported to Lake Macquarie City Council on Tuesday 4 October.

    The report details three rate increase options including one to maintain rates increases at capped levels, one to maintain services with increased rates, and one to improve services with a higher increase in rates (see details below).

    Councillors will also be asked to approve the final stage of...

    Plans to consult Lake Macquarie residents and businesses about options for rate increases will be reported to Lake Macquarie City Council on Tuesday 4 October.


    Plans to consult Lake Macquarie residents and businesses about options for rate increases will be reported to Lake Macquarie City Council on Tuesday 4 October.

    The report details three rate increase options including one to maintain rates increases at capped levels, one to maintain services with increased rates, and one to improve services with a higher increase in rates (see details below).

    Councillors will also be asked to approve the final stage of the six-month consultation process.

    Council's Director Corporate Services, Wayne Jack, said despite achieving significant efficiencies and financially performing better than most other councils, services to Lake Macquarie ratepayers can no longer be maintained without additional rate rises.

    "The cost of providing council services is continuing to increase at a greater rate than our income and inflation," Mr Jack said.

    "As a community we have to decide what services we want Council to provide and there are some tough decisions to be made."

    "Council's operating budget is in deficit, and it is not sustainable to continue to run down asset replacement reserves to balance the budget. We have seen big increases in costs that are beyond our control including electricity and fuel, as well as cost shifting from the State Government that we just can't absorb."

    Council staff developed the rate options following the first stage of an extensive six-month consultation program My Lake Macquarie - Securing Our Future, which runs until December. Community feedback provided from consultation on the development of Council's operational plans and delivery programs also contributed to the development of the options.

    "Results from the first stage of community consultation have shown us that most people are reluctant to see Council services reduced or cut, and that they would be willing to pay to see current services and assets maintained or improved as long as a potential rate increase was not unreasonable," Mr Jack said.

    "People have told us priority services include land and foreshore management, environmental management, family day care, domestic and commercial waste collection, park facilities and playgrounds, roads, and cycleways. We will continue to work with the community to deliver services that are important to them and in line with what they are prepared to pay."

    The next phase of community consultation will include seven community workshops, an online and telephone survey. A community working group of 24 randomly selected people representing the Lake Macquarie community will also meet with Council officers to discuss the options.

    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).

    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 Business $326.17

    This option maintains current levels of service to the community, including pools and libraries, and provides funding for infrastructure renewal and upgrades such as parks and sporting grounds. Under Option 2, funds are provided to maintain but not improve roads.

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

    Residential $92.89 Business $421.34

    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.

    You can have your say on the three funding options at upcoming community forums, online or by completing the tear off slip in the information package you receive in early November.

  • Council's Financial Report Card

    almost 8 years ago

    Lake Macquarie City Council achieved 83% of its Operational Plan targets last financial year (2010/2011) with major highlights being environmental works on 25 sites around the city, the completion of the Fernleigh Track to Belmont, and receiving a national award for climate change adaptation programs.


    Lake Macquarie City Council achieved 83% of its Operational Plan targets last financial year (2010/2011) with major highlights being environmental works on 25 sites around the city, the completion of the
    Fernleigh Track to Belmont, and receiving a national award for climate change adaptation programs.

    The June Review of the 2010-2011 Operational Plan and...

    Lake Macquarie City Council achieved 83% of its Operational Plan targets last financial year (2010/2011) with major highlights being environmental works on 25 sites around the city, the completion of the Fernleigh Track to Belmont, and receiving a national award for climate change adaptation programs.


    Lake Macquarie City Council achieved 83% of its Operational Plan targets last financial year (2010/2011) with major highlights being environmental works on 25 sites around the city, the completion of the
    Fernleigh Track to Belmont, and receiving a national award for climate change adaptation programs.

    The June Review of the 2010-2011 Operational Plan and Budget went to Council's Budget Committee in August and was adopted with a budget deficit of $441,268.

    Council's Director Corporate Services, Wayne Jack, said the deficit was an indication of the continuing financial challenges faced by Council as a result of factors including rate pegging and cost shifting
    from other levels of government.

    "This review shows a satisfactory short term financial position for Council, but it also shows how important it is that we look at our continued financial sustainability," Mr Jack said.

    "We have been balancing the budget from our Asset Replacement Reserve but this practice is not sustainable and we will need to find more funds for the future replacement of infrastructure."

    "Our ability to achieve 139 of the 167 indicators shows that Council is efficient and able to deliver many great services and facilities to the community while operating within some financial constraints."

    "Our increasing operating deficit means that we need to make some changes to our income or services and we have been hearing what Council services residents value through the My Lake Macquarie: Securing our Future consultation program. I encourage anyone who has not yet had their say to go to our online forum and take part in the discussion."


    Key Achievements in 2010-2011

    • 8,000 people attended the first Living Smart Festival at Speers Point Park in September
    • Achieved a record number of sites and participants in Clean Up Lake Macquarie Day in March
    • Received national award for climate change adaptation initiatives
    • Reduced total waste to landfill of 23% per capita in 2010-11 compared to 2007-08
    • Completed accessibility works at Teralba Petanque Centre, Argenton Community Hall, and Teralba Community Hall
    • Completed the fitout and commenced operations of The Place: Charlestown Community Centre
    • Received an $84,000 grant from the Attorney General's Department for graffiti removal and prevention programs
    • Worked with the Aboriginal community through the Toronto Local Reference Group to plan for an Integrated Child and Family Centre at Toronto
    • Constructed the Blacksmiths Pontoon Jetty
    • Built a new amenities building and car park at Evans Park, Cardiff
    • Completed Lake Macquarie's best skate park at Chapman Oval, Swansea
    • Finished the final stages of the Fernleigh Track through to Belmont
    • Constructed 1.4km of kerb and gutter at Brightwaters and Belmont North
    • Sealed 2.6km of gravel road at Morisset, Mandalong, Wakefield, Ryhope, and Wyee
    • Finalised area plans for Morisset Town Centre and Coorumbung Road, Dora Creek
    • Prepared draft Lifestyle 2030 and Development Control Plan 2011 for exhibition
    • Offered local heritage funds and completed work on six buildings
    • Developed a Lake Macquarie Fishing Guide and Kayaking Trails Guide to go with the Walking Trails Guide
    • CiviLake delivered external works and services with a surplus of $1.54m
    • Constructed new camp kitchens at Belmont Pines and Swansea Gardens holiday parks

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  • Your questions answered

    almost 8 years ago

    At our recent Community Forums in Morisset, Belmont and Charlestown, participants were invited to ask questions, and where time allowed Council staff provided answers on the night.


    At our recent Community Forums in Morisset, Belmont and Charlestown, participants were invited to ask questions, and where time allowed Council staff provided answers on the night.

    With such good attendance at each of the sessions, we didn't have time to answer everyone's questions. So, participants were invited to write their queries down so we could provide answers and make them available afterwards through the Securing our Future site.

    Our responses...

    At our recent Community Forums in Morisset, Belmont and Charlestown, participants were invited to ask questions, and where time allowed Council staff provided answers on the night.


    At our recent Community Forums in Morisset, Belmont and Charlestown, participants were invited to ask questions, and where time allowed Council staff provided answers on the night.

    With such good attendance at each of the sessions, we didn't have time to answer everyone's questions. So, participants were invited to write their queries down so we could provide answers and make them available afterwards through the Securing our Future site.

    Our responses are now available in our Frequent Asked Questions section. Follow the links to learn more about Securing our Future and what the community wanted to know more about.

    Once again, we would like to thank everyone who came along to the forums. Please help spread the word and encourage others in our community to have their say on the future of our finances and services.

  • Lake Residents Have Their Say on Council Services

    almost 8 years ago

    More than 250 Lake Macquarie residents attended a series of Council run workshops this week where they let Council know what services were important to them, what they could not do without and in some cases, what services they thought were not necessarily Council's responsibility to provide.


    29/07/2011

    More than 250 Lake Macquarie residents attended a series of Council run workshops this week where they let Council know what services were important to them, what they could not do without and in some cases, what services they thought were not necessarily Council’s responsibility to provide.


    Residents from across...

    More than 250 Lake Macquarie residents attended a series of Council run workshops this week where they let Council know what services were important to them, what they could not do without and in some cases, what services they thought were not necessarily Council's responsibility to provide.


    29/07/2011

    More than 250 Lake Macquarie residents attended a series of Council run workshops this week where they let Council know what services were important to them, what they could not do without and in some cases, what services they thought were not necessarily Council’s responsibility to provide.


    Residents from across the city consistently confirmed that they valued council services like roads, libraries and the creation of employment opportunities, and Mayor Greg Piper said that workshop participants mostly indicated they are willing to pay for a continuation of current services.


    “When asked to prioritise a list of Council services and think about what they could do without, a lot of workshop participants found this difficult because they placed high importance on so much of what they get from Council,” Cr Piper said.


    While it certainly wasn’t a unanimous opinion, a lot of participants made it clear that they didn’t want a reduction in services, or a sale of Council assets to help save money. 


    “Council shared a lot of information about its current financial position, and how rate pegging is affecting our ability to keep up with rising costs and demands,” Cr Piper said.


    “Lake Macquarie consistently out-performs other similar councils when it comes to our rate base, our operating expenditure, and operational income per capita.  We have also found $4 million in efficiencies, and the potential for further efficiencies and revenue generation to help reduce the rate burden, but we know this still won’t be enough to remain financially sustainable.”


    The community forums are just one part of an engagement strategy that will continue until early December.  Council will also be giving a briefing to the Lake Macquarie Combined Chambers of Commerce and the Youth Advisory Council next month.  The My Lake Macquarie – Securing our Future online forum www.haveyoursaylakemac.com.au is also running in conjunction.


    “We have a big job ahead of us to reconcile all of the feedback we are getting from the community so we can continue to find the right balance between providing what our residents want and what they are willing to pay for,” Cr Piper concluded.

  • Lake Residents Start Talking About Council Services

    almost 8 years ago

    Lake Macquarie City Council has kicked off a series of community workshops this evening with more than 60 residents attending a meeting at Morisset where they gave feedback on the Council services they value most.


     26/07/11

    Lake Macquarie City Council has kicked off a series of community workshops this evening with more than 60 residents attending a meeting at Morisset where they gave feedback on the Council services they value most.

    While residents from the western side of the lake confirmed that the traditional council services like 'roads, rates, and rubbish' remain important to them, they also highly...

    Lake Macquarie City Council has kicked off a series of community workshops this evening with more than 60 residents attending a meeting at Morisset where they gave feedback on the Council services they value most.


     26/07/11

    Lake Macquarie City Council has kicked off a series of community workshops this evening with more than 60 residents attending a meeting at Morisset where they gave feedback on the Council services they value most.

    While residents from the western side of the lake confirmed that the traditional council services like 'roads, rates, and rubbish' remain important to them, they also highly value other important services like family day care, management of the lake and the foreshore, and the provision of a clean and safe city.

    Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Greg Piper, said tonight's meeting was the first of three this week.

    "It was great to see our community members really start to think about the types of services Council provides and then consider which services really enhance their lifestyle and which services they couldn't do without," Cr Piper said.

    Council is undertaking a series of community forums this week where the community will receive information on Council's current financial challenges and have an opportunity to provide feedback on what services they think ratepayer funds should be spent on. The community forums are running in conjunction with the My Lake Macquarie - Securing our Future online forum www.haveyoursaylakemac.com.au.

    "Our swimming centres and libraries are still highly valued, as are our footways and cycleways, but the community heard that we cannot continue to provide all our current services with existing levels of income," Cr Piper said.

    "Participants were generally reluctant to see Council reduce services but if our income cannot be increased, we do have some feedback on the kinds of things they could do without, as well as some feedback on services that may not necessarily be Council's role to provide."

    "Once we have finished this stage of community engagement, the challenge for Council will be finding the right balance when it comes to making a change to our income, making cuts to services, or striking the right mix of the two," Cr Piper concluded.

    Council will hold two more community forums in this week:

    Wed 27 July 2011 Belmont 16 Foot Sailing Club - The Parade, Belmont

    Thu 28 July 2011 The Place: Charlestown Community Centre - Charlestown Square (Ground Floor) Cnr Frederick and Pearson Street, Charlestown

    All the community forums will be held from 6.30pm to 8pm with light refreshments from 6pm.

  • Online forum now open!

    about 8 years ago

    Like many councils in New South Wales, Lake Macquarie City Council is facing significant challenges in continuing to provide the current level of services, facilities and infrastructure to match the needs of our growing population.

    To face these challenges, Council is currently undertaking extensive community consultation to understand what services you value and want to see funded in future years. This is important, as we cannot continue providing existing levels of service within our current funding.


    Like many councils in New South Wales, Lake Macquarie City Council is facing significant challenges in continuing to provide the current level of...

    Like many councils in New South Wales, Lake Macquarie City Council is facing significant challenges in continuing to provide the current level of services, facilities and infrastructure to match the needs of our growing population.

    To face these challenges, Council is currently undertaking extensive community consultation to understand what services you value and want to see funded in future years. This is important, as we cannot continue providing existing levels of service within our current funding.


    Like many councils in New South Wales, Lake Macquarie City Council is facing significant challenges in continuing to provide the current level of services, facilities and infrastructure to match the needs of our growing population.

    To face these challenges, Council is currently undertaking extensive community consultation to understand what services you value and want to see funded in future years. This is important, as we cannot continue providing existing levels of service within our current funding.

    As a Lake Macquarie resident you use Council services - whether it's family day care, sporting fields, or simply driving on roads. We need to know what you cannot live without, what you think we can do better, and where you want your money spent.

    Join the Securing Our Future Forum to hear what others are saying and tell us what you think. Your discussions, ideasand feedback will help shape new approaches to significant issues for our city. 

  • Mayor's Message

    almost 8 years ago
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    Council undertakes extensive community consultation each year as we develop our operational plans and delivery programs. We have undertaken more consultation in 2011 as we look to confirm which services you value the most, and try to strike the right balance between the services you want and those you are willing to pay for through your rates.


    Council has managed to balance its budget for many years, but with each passing year this has become increasingly difficult. It is clear that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and that we need to change the way we fund our...

    Council undertakes extensive community consultation each year as we develop our operational plans and delivery programs. We have undertaken more consultation in 2011 as we look to confirm which services you value the most, and try to strike the right balance between the services you want and those you are willing to pay for through your rates.


    Council has managed to balance its budget for many years, but with each passing year this has become increasingly difficult. It is clear that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and that we need to change the way we fund our assets and services, or go down the path of making some serious cuts.

    Council undertakes extensive community consultation each year as we develop our operational plans and delivery programs. We have undertaken more consultation in 2011 as we look to confirm which services you value the most, and try to strike the right balance between the services you want and those you are willing to pay for through your rates.

    Many people attended the series of Securing our Future community workshops held in July, joined our online forum, and used our budget allocator tool over recent months. Most participants were reluctant to see cuts to services or the sale of Council assets to fund budget shortfalls. Indeed, many indicated they would be happy to see an increase in rates to maintain or improve the services and assets they value, so long as the increase was reasonable.

    Based on this feedback, Council has developed three funding options to present to the community for consideration. These options are based on community priorities identified through the Securing our Future consultation. The options also respond to the community’s vision as reflected in our 10 Year Community Plan.

    We are asking you to tell us which of these three options you prefer. We will use the results of feedback from the community to determine the level of rate increase we will seek from IPART. The final decision on whether Council can increase its rate income will be made by IPART in June next year.

    I urge you to take the time to read the information available on this site and tell us your preferred option. Your feedback will have an effect on the future of Council and the City of Lake Macquarie.

    Councillor Greg Piper

    Mayor of Lake Macquarie

  • Find out about each of the options for a rate increase

    almost 8 years ago

    Find out details information about each of the options for a rate increase.

    You can nominate your preferred option by completing the online survey.

    Find out details information about each of the options for a rate increase.

    You can nominate your preferred option by completing the online survey.