Special Rate Variation

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Consultation has concluded. Thank you for participating. This information will remain publicly available for your reference.

The first stage of the Special Rate Variation consultation has now concluded. Councillors will meet at 1pm on Monday 30 January 2023 for an Extraordinary Meeting in Cooma to review survey responses and written feedback.

Visit www.snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au/Council/Meetings to tune into the webcast.

Results from this initial consultation and from the forthcoming meeting will be made available soon.

There are a number of FAQs answered on the left of the screen and nearly 100 publically answered questions below for your information and review.

BACKGROUND

At the Extraordinary Council Meeting on Thursday 24 November 2022, the Council decided to proceed with notifying the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) that Snowy Monaro Regional Council intends to apply for a permanent Special Rate Variation (SRV).

What is a Special Rate Variation (SRV) and Rate-Pegging?

Rates increase each year in line with an amount set by the State Government. This amount is calculated every year and is called the ‘rate peg’. This is decided by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

For the 2023/24 financial year the rate peg applied to Snowy Monaro Regional Council, will be 4.0%.

If a council’s rate revenue is not enough to maintain service levels, it can apply to IPART to increase overall rate revenue by more than the rate peg. This is known as a Special Rate Variation (SRV). In order to apply for an SRV, councils must demonstrate to the community and IPART that they need the money and have implemented improvements to be more efficient and productive.

Why do we need a Special Rate Variation (SRV)?

The rate increases set by the NSW State Government have not kept pace with cost escalations faced by Council in providing services to our community. Like many other NSW councils, SMRC has not generated revenue sufficient to undertake enough investment in community assets.

Our service delivery costs have increased significantly – fuelling our vehicles to repair roads, clean toilets, mow lawns, pay wages, etc – and the costs involved in purchasing materials, hiring contractors and paying suppliers have also increased.

The additional funds received through the SRV will increase the money available to address and correct Council’s operating position will enable sufficient funds to be available for renewal and maintenance of assets and the continuation of current service levels.

What will happen if the special rate variation is not implemented?

If the SRV is not approved, Council will need to implement service level reductions totalling $28.8 million over the next ten years. Services will need to be discontinued, roads and buildings will continue to deteriorate, and unsafe facilities will be closed so that necessary funds can be redirected to keep essential infrastructure safe and functional for our community.

There are three options for your consideration:

Option 1 – 53% rate increase to be paid in 2023/24. Enables an additional investment of $64.3 million in asset renewal to stabilise the current infrastructure backlog and to undertake additional renewal and maintenance of our roads and other community assets. Current service levels will be maintained while also progressively improving the operating result ie. financial sustainability.

Option 2 – 55.25% rate increase spread over five years starting from 2023/24. Enables an additional staged investment of $51.1 million in asset renewal to progressively stabilise the current infrastructure backlog and to undertake additional renewal and maintenance of our roads and other community assets. Over time, current service levels will be maintained while also progressively improving the operating result ie. financial sustainability.

Option 3 – No SRV, Rate Peg Only. Assets and service levels will deteriorate, and the current infrastructure backlog will continue to grow as additional assets deteriorate below satisfactory condition. Council will be required to reduce services and close unsafe facilities.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE SRV ON MY RATES?

Table 1 shows the impact of implementing the SRV on the average rates by rate category.

Table 1 - Increase in 2023/24 Average Rate



Average Rate 2023/24

Rating Category

2022/23 Rate

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Residential

$980.29

$1,499.84

$1,100.38

$1,019.50

Farmland

$2,026.30

$3,100.24

$2,274.52

$2,107.35

Business

$1,071.29

$1,639.07

$1,202.52

$1,114.14

Electricity Generation

$43,806.17

$67,023.44

$49,172.43

$45,558.42

Tables 2 to 5 show the impact of implementing the SRV on the average rates by rate category between 2023/24 and 2027/28.

Table 2 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Rate Residential Category

Residential Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$519.55

$557.05

$595.48

$634.88

$675.26

$2,982.22

Option 2

$120.09

$238.38

$369.38

$514.47

$675.16

$1,917.48

Option 3

$39.21

$64.70

$90.82

$117.60

$145.05

$457.39

Table 3 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Rate Farmland Category

Farmland Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$1,073.94

$1,151.45

$1,230.89

$1,312.32

$1,395.78

$6,164.37

Option 2

$248.22

$492.73

$763.53

$1,063.44

$1,395.58

$3,963.50

Option 3

$81.05

$133.74

$187.74

$243.09

$299.82

$945.43

Table 4 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Business Category

Business

Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$567.78

$608.76

$650.76

$693.81

$737.94

$3,259.06

Option 2

$131.23

$260.50

$403.67

$562.23

$737.83

$2,095.47

Option 3

$42.85

$70.71

$99.26

$128.52

$158.51

$499.84

Table 5 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Electricity Generation Category

Electricity Generation

Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$23,217.27

$24,892.86

$26,610.33

$28,370.74

$30,175.17

$133,266.37

Option 2

$5,366.26

$10,652.29

$16,506.58

$22,990.20

$30,170.81

$85,686.13

Option 3

$1,752.25

$2,891.21

$4,058.64

$5,255.26

$6,481.80

$20,439.16

Over the course of this consultation we have engaged with our community, to ensure all interested parties were informed and provided an opportunity to provide feedback on the options presented for an SRV application proposal. The details of our various community engagement activities can be found in the Key Dates section of this page (right of the screen on a PC and at the bottom of the page on a smartphone or tablet).

If you have any questions please get in touch with us at 1300 345 345.

The first stage of the Special Rate Variation consultation has now concluded. Councillors will meet at 1pm on Monday 30 January 2023 for an Extraordinary Meeting in Cooma to review survey responses and written feedback.

Visit www.snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au/Council/Meetings to tune into the webcast.

Results from this initial consultation and from the forthcoming meeting will be made available soon.

There are a number of FAQs answered on the left of the screen and nearly 100 publically answered questions below for your information and review.

BACKGROUND

At the Extraordinary Council Meeting on Thursday 24 November 2022, the Council decided to proceed with notifying the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) that Snowy Monaro Regional Council intends to apply for a permanent Special Rate Variation (SRV).

What is a Special Rate Variation (SRV) and Rate-Pegging?

Rates increase each year in line with an amount set by the State Government. This amount is calculated every year and is called the ‘rate peg’. This is decided by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

For the 2023/24 financial year the rate peg applied to Snowy Monaro Regional Council, will be 4.0%.

If a council’s rate revenue is not enough to maintain service levels, it can apply to IPART to increase overall rate revenue by more than the rate peg. This is known as a Special Rate Variation (SRV). In order to apply for an SRV, councils must demonstrate to the community and IPART that they need the money and have implemented improvements to be more efficient and productive.

Why do we need a Special Rate Variation (SRV)?

The rate increases set by the NSW State Government have not kept pace with cost escalations faced by Council in providing services to our community. Like many other NSW councils, SMRC has not generated revenue sufficient to undertake enough investment in community assets.

Our service delivery costs have increased significantly – fuelling our vehicles to repair roads, clean toilets, mow lawns, pay wages, etc – and the costs involved in purchasing materials, hiring contractors and paying suppliers have also increased.

The additional funds received through the SRV will increase the money available to address and correct Council’s operating position will enable sufficient funds to be available for renewal and maintenance of assets and the continuation of current service levels.

What will happen if the special rate variation is not implemented?

If the SRV is not approved, Council will need to implement service level reductions totalling $28.8 million over the next ten years. Services will need to be discontinued, roads and buildings will continue to deteriorate, and unsafe facilities will be closed so that necessary funds can be redirected to keep essential infrastructure safe and functional for our community.

There are three options for your consideration:

Option 1 – 53% rate increase to be paid in 2023/24. Enables an additional investment of $64.3 million in asset renewal to stabilise the current infrastructure backlog and to undertake additional renewal and maintenance of our roads and other community assets. Current service levels will be maintained while also progressively improving the operating result ie. financial sustainability.

Option 2 – 55.25% rate increase spread over five years starting from 2023/24. Enables an additional staged investment of $51.1 million in asset renewal to progressively stabilise the current infrastructure backlog and to undertake additional renewal and maintenance of our roads and other community assets. Over time, current service levels will be maintained while also progressively improving the operating result ie. financial sustainability.

Option 3 – No SRV, Rate Peg Only. Assets and service levels will deteriorate, and the current infrastructure backlog will continue to grow as additional assets deteriorate below satisfactory condition. Council will be required to reduce services and close unsafe facilities.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE SRV ON MY RATES?

Table 1 shows the impact of implementing the SRV on the average rates by rate category.

Table 1 - Increase in 2023/24 Average Rate



Average Rate 2023/24

Rating Category

2022/23 Rate

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Residential

$980.29

$1,499.84

$1,100.38

$1,019.50

Farmland

$2,026.30

$3,100.24

$2,274.52

$2,107.35

Business

$1,071.29

$1,639.07

$1,202.52

$1,114.14

Electricity Generation

$43,806.17

$67,023.44

$49,172.43

$45,558.42

Tables 2 to 5 show the impact of implementing the SRV on the average rates by rate category between 2023/24 and 2027/28.

Table 2 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Rate Residential Category

Residential Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$519.55

$557.05

$595.48

$634.88

$675.26

$2,982.22

Option 2

$120.09

$238.38

$369.38

$514.47

$675.16

$1,917.48

Option 3

$39.21

$64.70

$90.82

$117.60

$145.05

$457.39

Table 3 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Rate Farmland Category

Farmland Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$1,073.94

$1,151.45

$1,230.89

$1,312.32

$1,395.78

$6,164.37

Option 2

$248.22

$492.73

$763.53

$1,063.44

$1,395.58

$3,963.50

Option 3

$81.05

$133.74

$187.74

$243.09

$299.82

$945.43

Table 4 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Business Category

Business

Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$567.78

$608.76

$650.76

$693.81

$737.94

$3,259.06

Option 2

$131.23

$260.50

$403.67

$562.23

$737.83

$2,095.47

Option 3

$42.85

$70.71

$99.26

$128.52

$158.51

$499.84

Table 5 - Cumulative increase over 5 years – Average Electricity Generation Category

Electricity Generation

Category

Cumulative Increase over 5yrs

2023/24 to 2027/28

Total

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

Option 1

$23,217.27

$24,892.86

$26,610.33

$28,370.74

$30,175.17

$133,266.37

Option 2

$5,366.26

$10,652.29

$16,506.58

$22,990.20

$30,170.81

$85,686.13

Option 3

$1,752.25

$2,891.21

$4,058.64

$5,255.26

$6,481.80

$20,439.16

Over the course of this consultation we have engaged with our community, to ensure all interested parties were informed and provided an opportunity to provide feedback on the options presented for an SRV application proposal. The details of our various community engagement activities can be found in the Key Dates section of this page (right of the screen on a PC and at the bottom of the page on a smartphone or tablet).

If you have any questions please get in touch with us at 1300 345 345.

Consultation has concluded. Thank you for participating. This information will remain publicly available for your reference.

Please read through questions posted and answers replied as its possible we may have already answered your query. There are nearly 100 questions and answers for you to review below.   

Our team is here to help you better understand the application process to Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and the options recommended for consideration for our council.


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    Do you have a Breakdown of expenditure for each option? Do you have projections on water, sewer and waste rates/charges going forward? Projection on cost to update asset management plans and integrate into the LTFP and resourcing Strategy? Is there a Strategy that looks at opportunities for Council to maximise benefits including own source income and opportunities from the SAP? Has Council established a Expenditure Review Committee ?

    B1 asked about 1 year ago

    The documentation you are requesting is included in the Asset Management Plan, Workforce Plan and Long-Term Financial Plan.  The Financial Sustainability Review made a number of recommendations for Council to improve its efficiencies and financial position and these have been adopted in full by Council.   

    Council is the expenditure review committee. In addition to the financial sustainability review, Council has undertaken a number of service reviews. Each of these reviews has made a number of recommendations to maximise the effectiveness of Council’s expenditure, including some changes in the number, and the roles, of employees. 

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    Can you please justify for me as to why, in your Options, there is such a dramatic jump in Option 3 from 4% to Option 1 - 53% and Option 2 55.25%. Apart from the obvious financial, economic, emotional and mental anguish that council’s preferred 53% rate increase is going to cause its ratepayers – facts that surely have not escaped the attention and consideration of councillors - can you explain to me why the rate increase choices in council’s “survey” have to make such a dramatic jump from the pegged rate of 4% to 53%. Why can't a rate percentage increase of a lesser amount be provided as an option? Under the current economic circumstances that Australia is, and will be facing for several more years, why is it not being considered by council to have a special variation rate of a much lesser - and economically kinder and sensible -percentage than a huge jump from the pegged 4% (Option 3) to 53%. This would make more commonsense. We believe the survey is flawed as it does not allow participanst to choose only one option. It does not allow only one choice and the survey will not get submitted if the two other options and not ranked. We feel that by making ratepayers rank all three options that there is an ulterior motive by council to use the forced data option selection to justify options 1 and 2. We respectfully suggest council goes back to its ‘proposed rate increase drawing board’ and develop a rate increase option that is more realistic and affordable for all ratepayers and use the revenue raised in a commonsense and practical way that benefits all ratepayers equitably. Thank you and we look forward to answers to our questions. Mrs H Gordon and Family

    Helen Shimitras asked about 1 year ago

    4% represents the rate peg and does not include any SRV. It is the option commonly raised as desired by the community, often expressed as ‘living within our means’. It involves significant reductions in services. The 2 remaining options represent the funds required to address the structural deficit Council has. One is the full rate applied at year one (53%) and the second is spread across multiple years. This is what is required to at least close the historical financial loss the Council is facing.

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    Why - at a time when a special rate variation is proposed for the purpose of urgently raising $28.8 million for essential works - has more than $30 million been allocated to four non-essential projects that will benefit just two of our 12 towns and villages: (1) Jindabyne Library (SMRC Annual Report 2021-2022 page 91); (2) Jindabyne Pool (SMRC Annual Report 2021-2022 page 91) (3) Jindabyne Shared Trail Project (SMRC Annual Report 2021-2022 page 87); and (4) Cooma Sports Hub (SMRC Annual Report 2021-2022 page 87)?

    Pip A Ryan asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question, Pip, and much like the works being undertaken in Bombala at the Showground and in Delegate at the School of Arts; each of the projects you refer to are funded through government grants.  

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    One of the earliest decisions of this current Council was to vote to receive the highest level of remuneration increase. While this remuneration is only a fraction of the ongoing costs of Council, it remains a very bad "look" set against the recommendations from the Financial Sustainability Review which has as its first recommendation: "Submit a Special Rate Variation (SRV) Application based on increasing General Fund rates revenue by $19.4 million over the next 10 years. This can be achieved through a 43% increase above the rate peg in 2023/24 or a staged increase over a number of years." Why are you not taking the advice of this expensive consultancy regarding 43%? How did you arrive at 53% or 55.25% instead? As you have to supply IPART with a detailed plan of how you will spend the SRV, why don't you do that work now and present it to the community, so we know what we are actually supposed to be voting for? The SRV is one of about 40 individual recommendations as to how Council can improve its operating position. How about you tick off some of those bigger items before you ask us to throw money at inefficient and outdated practices

    Not an Accountant asked about 1 year ago

    Council have adopted the recommendations of the Financial Sustainability Review in full. The recommendations combined, including the SRV, will see Council in a much better position to maintain assets and continue services to the community. As you would have noted there are many more recommendations. Some of those have been costed and those costs included in the long term financial plan. The two different percentages come about due to the need to raise the same amount of funding over the ten years to meet the financial sustainability criteria. The later increases are put into place the greater they are, as each year expenditure increases by more than revenue due to inflation. 

    The SRV is to fix the historical structural deficit to allow Council to start investing back into the infrastructure that has been deteriorating year after year. It will primarily going into roads, but also buildings and other structures. You were voting as to whether you wished to keep all the infrastructure and services Council currently provides (options 2 and 3) or have a much lower level of services (option 1) 

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    Why is the only option a rate increase? Maybe if the management could show an attempt to save money within the council office rate payers might be willing to chip in a little more!! The whole place is very inefficient from the outside looking in.

    Mic B asked about 1 year ago

    Option 3 is only increasing rates by the standard percentage set by IPART. Inflation impacts on the costs of Council. No increase in rates would worsen the financial sustainability of Council, leading to even more deterioration of the infrastructure. 

    The rate increase is only one of several recommendations in the financial sustainability review. These are explained in the documents provided and can be referenced in several of the answers below.  Council has been reducing expenditure relative to rising costs. The financial sustainability review shows that the trend for the deficit starting with the last four years of the predecessor councils. At no stage have the predecessor councils or SMRC have been spending enough to properly maintain community assets such as roads, community halls, swimming pools, parks and gardens. Nor has there been sufficient cash put aside for future expenditure and emergencies. Reducing costs further will only exacerbate the deterioration of the assets. 

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    Question 1 Why are farmland rates the most expensive when, in our case, we have no waste or water services, no garbage collection services and no infrastructure provided by council other than 3kms of Bumbalong Road, graded infrequently. Question 2 - I don't want to rate all options in the survey. I only want to rate Option 1. My survey is not being submitted because of my choice not to rate Options 2 and 3. I think that Council is trying to trick us by forcing us to rate all options and then use this date to put forward the other options. This smacks of deceipt. Can you let me know how I can let council know that I only want to chose Option 1 and not rate the other two options? Question 3 - what are the Jindabyne SAP assets and what does this mean. Question 4 - when do the new rates become effective Question 5 - when is the next council election

    Helen Shimitras asked about 1 year ago

    Rates are set based on the value of the land. General rates do not pay for waste, water or sewer. Those are covered by separate charges. Rates are not a fee for use, they are a tax to fund the services that the Council determines the overall community needs. Those services then need to be funded by the community. Based on where you live you currently benefit from the rating structure. The cost of providing your road for the properties along it on a fee for use system would be around $23,700. The rates from the properties along your road total $9,260. 

    While you may only want one option sometimes in life there has to be compromises. By knowing peoples second choices we can get a better understanding of what people may prefer if they cannot have what they want. Your only other option is to send in an email, which will then go into the feedback. All feedback will be considered by Councillors prior to a final decision being made. 

    The Snowy Mountains Special Activation Precinct is a NSW Government program to boost the snowy mountains tourism economy to transition into a shorter snow season as well as creating a year-round tourism economy. To kick start the program the NSW Government is planning to build a bypass, other road improvements and water and sewer upgrades. The existing roads that are bypassed and the new streetscapes, parks and water and sewer will then be handed to Council. Council will then have to manage and maintain those assets. 

    The rates become effective each year from 1 July. 

    The next election will be on 24 September 2024. 

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    The 2022-2023 Operational Plan outlined that service levels for the transport network were yet to be defined. What is the status of this committment? How will residents and ratepayers understand the difference between the options if the transport network service levels are not defined? Are the infrastructure projects defined in the operational plan committed or are they subject to the SRV as well?

    Redacted asked about 1 year ago

    Council will continue with the project to determine service levels. The SRV decision is on whether the community wants to keep all the existing services and infrastructure or reduce how much is provided. For roads there is a certain cost that needs to be spent. You cannot spend less and keep the road over the long term. It deteriorates faster than it should and then costs more over its lifetime than if you had spent the money to properly maintain it in the first place. The service levels will look at issues such as how much faster the community may want us to patch a pothole and where we mow grass on roadsides, but first decide if the actual road will be funded. 

    If it is decided not to fund the current infrastructure and services Council will then need to start a discussion on what it is that is no longer provided. This may or may not impact on roads, depending on what is considered the priority. We cannot at this stage say if the feedback will prioritise the available funds on roads, parks, toilets, sport fields, etc. The 2021 customer satisfaction survey indicated that sealed roads were the most important service we provide. Unsealed roads rated 11th out of the 24 services listed. 

    Currently the funds available are not sufficient to properly maintain and replace the existing infrastructure. The first two options start to address that issue by increasing the funding for the ongoing renewal of the infrastructure. In option 3 the amount of infrastructure and services needs to be reduced until a financially sustainable point Is reached. As an example of the impact of the SRV, under our current funding we will be able to properly maintain 136km of the unsealed road network. Under options 1 or 2 we would be able to maintain 1,400km of road network. 

    Infrastructure projects in the operational plan are committed and the majority are either in full, or in part, externally funded. 

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    How will the additional $500m funding released by the NSW Governemnt Regional and Local Roads Repair Program impact the SRV? Has council applied for funding? Can the criteria be met without a pavement management solution?

    Redacted asked about 1 year ago

    Yes, Council has applied for this funding. Council will secure a pre-determined allocation from the NSW government based on the total length of our road network. This program is to fund urgent road repairs, priority corrective maintenance works and the repair of potholes on local and regional roads. The revenue raised from the SRV, if approved, will contribute to funding the ongoing renewal of Council’s road network in a planned and orderly manner, based on an asset management system. The key difference is a planned renewal program will ensure that the road network does not deteriorate. The Regional and Local Roads Repair program targets rehabilitation of already deteriorated roads to bring them back to a reasonable condition. This is in addition to disaster recovery funding that is also helping return roads to pre-disaster condition. Therefore the funding from the NSW program and the SRV are used for two different purposes. Where at all possible the NSW program funding will target road asset renewal, it will not replace the need for the SRV revenue. 

    The program is based on the length of road network managed by the Council. It is limited to maintenance and repairs and cannot be used for road renewals. As such it will not rely on a pavement management system to guide the works. 

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    How do you expect people to find such a massive increase in rates? Especially people on fixed incomes below the 'average' wage. There will be a lot of people who will end up significantly behind in their rates. Or is this part of your plan so you earn more in interest on outstanding rates? Also if you had not realised already, there is a housing crisis caused by influx of workers for Snowy 2.0 and resultant rent increases. By increasing rates, rental prices will again significantly increase causing more people to be unable to afford housing. Rates increases of this magnitude will have a knock on effect of locals spending less in town because they have less or no money to spend; shop owners having to increase prices to cover the rates increase, leading to even less spending in town. And around we go. I vote no for any SRV until Council shows in detail why they are in the red, especially as the amalgamation was supposed to significantly reduce costs, exactly, down to the last dollar. What cost savings they intend to take and exactly what they intend to spend the money on, with accurate costings. The rate payers need to be fully informed of the whole financial story. Additionally, the comment above that maybe you need to ask the State government for more funding. The council comment to this was you, the rate payer should write to your local member. Yes, this is an option but the Council should be the main body pushing for more money from the State government. The rate payers cannot put forward a case of why they need more money and the associated costings. Stop trying to pass the buck.

    Chris Hughes asked about 1 year ago

    The detail of why the Council is in deficit is in the financial sustainability review. The savings forecast in the merger proposal were achieved however the merger proposal recognised that the merged council would continue to generate deficits, but smaller than that predicted for the three predecessor councils if they had continued. The merger savings were never going to be sufficient to fund the structural deficit the Council inherited. All this information is in the financial sustainability review report. 

    Councils, individually and collectively, have been lobbying for more money for decades and the only result has been for the level of funding has been reduced. Councils do not have influence over the State Government. Only when the funding of local services becomes an election issue due to pressure from the community that any change is likely to occur. Without that pressure we can only deal with the situation that we are in. 

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    The socio-economic profile for the Snowy Monaro, outlined in the Long Term Financial Plan, ranks strongly in the IRSD, IRSAD, IER and IEO. Is there any way to break these data sets down into townships? Is there consideration of impact on the different township economies within the SMRC or has the strategy only considered the entire region as a whole? The Risk Assessment and Challenges/Opportunities component of the Long Term Financial Strategy does not take into consideration potential short-term impacts on low socio-economic families within the region, which includes but is not limited to the potential of rate costs being passed onto low-income tenants. Should option 1 or 2 be taken up, does council have a strategy to A) identify and B) support families who will have increased financial hardship? Noting that current support services (public and private) within the region are already thinly stretched and finding it difficult to source appropriate staff, does council have a plan to provide timely support to those that reach out across the region?

    Jai asked about 1 year ago

    The impact of rates across the various communities was considered when the rates were harmonised. Following community consultation, a model was put forward from members of the community working group that there should be a system where each community contributed based on their land values. When you compare land values to household incomes you can see that overall the land values reflect the earnings within those towns. So the townships with lower earnings pay lower rates. 

    Council has hardship provisions for those who may be suffering short term hardship as a result of the changes. We only have provisions for ratepayers, but that can allow for deferral of payment and interest free periods to help with the adjustment. 

    Council does not have funding to provide support services. If we wished to fund increased social support services the funding for this would need to be added to the proposed rate increase. We do work closely with many of the providers and will continue to do so to encourage a reasonable level of support services across the region.