Administrator’s Column – Maintaining services and rates

Date

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Release

It is important for us to examine rates again and for our community to make an informed choice about maintaining services and service standards for the future of the Central Coast.

In less than three years’ time we will be facing an average annual income loss of $25.8million over the next 7 years and this means we will be forced to reduce or cease many services. We are proposing to make an application to IPART to maintain the current level of rates for a further seven years, consistent with what we asked for from IPART earlier this year.

There has been major restructuring of Council and Council is on track to achieve the $50million in cost savings including productivity gains. Together with the recent rate increase, Council is budgeting for a small surplus this financial year.

Council is on track to be able to continue to service its community. However, we face falling off an income cliff if the current level of rates is not maintained.

If the Special Variation is not extended, in two years ratepayers will be given a 13 percent reduction in their general rate component and Council will need to adjust its cost structures by a further $25.8million annually on average to cope with that reduction.

The community will have a major say in whether this application is successful. We will undertake a community consultation exercise so the community can provide input to whether they would prefer to continue to pay the current level of rates or receive a reduction and see a dramatic fall off in services. You need to be aware of what the implications of this reduction in Council income will mean on the services you use daily.

I urge you to keep an open mind, inform yourself and consider the information, and to provide feedback over the coming months before Council determines in early February whether or not to formally apply to IPART for a Special Variation.

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Last updated : Wed 29 Sep 2021