Investing in our Future | Special Rate Variation

UPDATE: The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal announced it's approval of Council's application for a cumulative rate increase of 45.3% from 2016 to 2020 on 17 May 2016. For further information refer to the news item below.


Wingecarribee Shire Council provides services and facilities across 22 towns and villages and 46 rural localities spread across an area the same size as the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Servicing an area of this size is a challenge and like many other NSW councils, our roads, footpaths, buildings, drainage and other community assets are getting old and need to be upgraded.

Our assets in their current state are continually deteriorating and need costly maintenance. To improve our public assets and meet the needs of our community we need to spend more money on renewal and upgrade work but costs are rising while rate revenue is limited.

We need your help to make some important decisions. Without a rate increase we won't be able to maintain our essential infrastructure and services. Three scenarios have been developed for consideration. These include the option to not seek a special rate variation and allow our assets to DETERIORATE. The second and third scenarios seek rate increases to allow our assets to be MAINTAINED or IMPROVED.

Following surveys earlier in 2015 Council took a further step towards a possible rate variation by resolving to exhibit three draft documents:
  • Draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised Dec 2015)
  • Draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026
  • Draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026
The exhibition concluded at 9am Monday 1 February 2016. Staff are now collating submissions and will report these to the 10 February 2016 meeting of Council.

Take a look through the document library and frequently asked questions to learn more about the
‘Investing in our Future’ proposal and specific transport,
building, park, environment and stormwater projects that Council would address as priorities under a
special rate variation.

UPDATE: The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal announced it's approval of Council's application for a cumulative rate increase of 45.3% from 2016 to 2020 on 17 May 2016. For further information refer to the news item below.


Wingecarribee Shire Council provides services and facilities across 22 towns and villages and 46 rural localities spread across an area the same size as the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Servicing an area of this size is a challenge and like many other NSW councils, our roads, footpaths, buildings, drainage and other community assets are getting old and need to be upgraded.

Our assets in their current state are continually deteriorating and need costly maintenance. To improve our public assets and meet the needs of our community we need to spend more money on renewal and upgrade work but costs are rising while rate revenue is limited.

We need your help to make some important decisions. Without a rate increase we won't be able to maintain our essential infrastructure and services. Three scenarios have been developed for consideration. These include the option to not seek a special rate variation and allow our assets to DETERIORATE. The second and third scenarios seek rate increases to allow our assets to be MAINTAINED or IMPROVED.

Following surveys earlier in 2015 Council took a further step towards a possible rate variation by resolving to exhibit three draft documents:
  • Draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised Dec 2015)
  • Draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026
  • Draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026
The exhibition concluded at 9am Monday 1 February 2016. Staff are now collating submissions and will report these to the 10 February 2016 meeting of Council.

Take a look through the document library and frequently asked questions to learn more about the
‘Investing in our Future’ proposal and specific transport,
building, park, environment and stormwater projects that Council would address as priorities under a
special rate variation.

News Feed

  • Special Rate Variation approved - 17 May 2016

    8 days ago

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal announced it's approval of Council's application for a cumulative rate increase of 45.3% from 2016 to 2020 on 17 May 2016.

    Following a period of sustained community engagement, Council at its meeting of 10 February 2016
    resolved to apply for an SRV to reduce infrastructure backlogs and achieve sustainability indicators set
    by the NSW State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ Local Government Reform program.

    Council applied for a cumulative rate increase of 45.3% from 2016 to 2020, with the 2019-20 proposed
    increase to include continuation of the Environmental Levy in perpetuity.

    IPART approved Council’s application with percentage increases to be applied as follows:
    • 2016-17 8.55%
    • 2017-18 9.25%
    • 2018-19 9.25%
    • 2019-20 12.15% (includes continuation of the Environmental Levy)
    For further information read:

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal announced it's approval of Council's application for a cumulative rate increase of 45.3% from 2016 to 2020 on 17 May 2016.

    Following a period of sustained community engagement, Council at its meeting of 10 February 2016
    resolved to apply for an SRV to reduce infrastructure backlogs and achieve sustainability indicators set
    by the NSW State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ Local Government Reform program.

    Council applied for a cumulative rate increase of 45.3% from 2016 to 2020, with the 2019-20 proposed
    increase to include continuation of the Environmental Levy in perpetuity.

    IPART approved Council’s application with percentage increases to be applied as follows:
    • 2016-17 8.55%
    • 2017-18 9.25%
    • 2018-19 9.25%
    • 2019-20 12.15% (includes continuation of the Environmental Levy)
    For further information read:

  • IPART exhibit SRV applications and seek further comment from community

    3 months ago

    EXCERPT FROM IPART MEDIA RELEASE:

    Twelve councils across NSW have officially applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to increase their general revenue above the rate peg in 2016-17.

    The rate peg for 2016-17 is set at 1.8%. Councils requiring additional revenue are able to apply to IPART for either single year or successive annual percentage increases above the rate peg. These special variations can be permanent or temporary, and are assessed against guidelines published by the Office of Local Government.

    IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said all applications will be determined by IPART by mid-May and... Continue reading

    EXCERPT FROM IPART MEDIA RELEASE:

    Twelve councils across NSW have officially applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to increase their general revenue above the rate peg in 2016-17.

    The rate peg for 2016-17 is set at 1.8%. Councils requiring additional revenue are able to apply to IPART for either single year or successive annual percentage increases above the rate peg. These special variations can be permanent or temporary, and are assessed against guidelines published by the Office of Local Government.

    IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said all applications will be determined by IPART by mid-May and could be applied to rates for the 2016-17 year. “Each application will be carefully assessed against the criteria established by the Office of Local Government with councils required to demonstrate the need for and the purpose of the additional revenue, evidence of community consultation and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers,” Dr Boxall said. “As councils must engage with the community when assessing options for a special variation, we expect councils will have sought and considered the community’s views on the special variation.”

    “Community members wishing to make submissions directly to IPART can do so until 14 March 2016, and these submissions will be considered as part of our determination.”

    Full details about the assessment criteria for Special Variations, the detailed proposals submitted by each council and how to lodge a submission can be found at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.

  • Council votes to apply for Special Rate Variation

    3 months ago
    Wingecarribee Shire Councillors have voted to submit the 'Improve' scenario for a Special Rate
    Variation to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for determination. Read media release.

    Once IPART have received and processed the application the community will again be offered the opportunity to make submissions about the proposal. Register your details on this site to ensure you are notified of the opportunity to review the application and consider making a submission.

    Wingecarribee Shire Councillors have voted to submit the 'Improve' scenario for a Special Rate
    Variation to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for determination. Read media release.

    Once IPART have received and processed the application the community will again be offered the opportunity to make submissions about the proposal. Register your details on this site to ensure you are notified of the opportunity to review the application and consider making a submission.
  • Council to decide whether SRV application will be submitted to IPART

    4 months ago

    On Wednesday 10 February 2016, Wingecarribee Shire Council will consider a report outlining the response to Special Rate Variation (SRV) consultations and resolve whether to apply for a rate increase.

    An extensive consultation period which started in August 2015, recently concluded with the public exhibition of a draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised December 2015), draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026 and draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 from 11December to 1 February 2016.

    These plans are being considered by Council on Wednesday night within the ‘Investing in Our Future - Proposed Special Rate Variation Application to Independent Pricing and Regulatory... Continue reading

    On Wednesday 10 February 2016, Wingecarribee Shire Council will consider a report outlining the response to Special Rate Variation (SRV) consultations and resolve whether to apply for a rate increase.

    An extensive consultation period which started in August 2015, recently concluded with the public exhibition of a draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised December 2015), draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026 and draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 from 11December to 1 February 2016.

    These plans are being considered by Council on Wednesday night within the ‘Investing in Our Future - Proposed Special Rate Variation Application to Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)’ report. Read the Council report and associated documents here or check out the full Business Paper (look for page 47 of 10/2/16 agenda).

    We will keep you posted about Council’s decision and any further opportunities to comment. For more information visit www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SRV

    Council meeting
    The first Ordinary Meeting for the year will start at 3.30pm on Wednesday 10 February 2016 in the Civic Centre on Elizabeth Street, Moss Vale.
  • Consultation continues for SRV. Exhibited documents provide detail.

    6 months ago
    Covers

    On Wednesday 9 December 2015 Wingecarribee Shire Council resolved to notify the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of councillors intent to apply for a Special Rate Variation in the new year.

    Councils considering a rate increase must comply with the requirements set out in Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) guidelines, including a notification confirming their "intention to apply" while they continue with consultation. Wingecarribee Shire Council has confirmed this intention and will now notify IPART. The actual application (due in February 2016) cannot be submitted until Council makes a formal resolution to do so.

    A draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised December 2015), draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026 and draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 have now been placed on exhibition until 1 February 2016. These documents provide greater detail about the community benefits each Special Rate Variation scenario would provide.

    On Wednesday 9 December 2015 Wingecarribee Shire Council resolved to notify the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of councillors intent to apply for a Special Rate Variation in the new year.

    Councils considering a rate increase must comply with the requirements set out in Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) guidelines, including a notification confirming their "intention to apply" while they continue with consultation. Wingecarribee Shire Council has confirmed this intention and will now notify IPART. The actual application (due in February 2016) cannot be submitted until Council makes a formal resolution to do so.

    A draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised December 2015), draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026 and draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 have now been placed on exhibition until 1 February 2016. These documents provide greater detail about the community benefits each Special Rate Variation scenario would provide.

  • Council to consider report about SRV on 9 December 2015

    6 months ago
    Investing_in_our_future

    Wingecarribee Shire Council will consider a report outlining the recent response to Special Rate Variation (SRV) surveys on Wednesday 9 December 2015 and resolve whether to continue with consultation.

    Councils considering a rate increase must comply with the requirements set out in Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) guidelines, including a notification confirming their "intention to apply" while they continue with consultation. The actual application (due in February 2016) cannot be submitted until Council makes a formal resolution to do so.

    The next stage of consultation, should Council agree to it, would see a draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised December 2015), draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026 and draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 placed on exhibition until the end of January 2016. These documents provide greater detail about the community benefits each special rate variation scenario would provide.

    These plans are being considered by Council on Wednesday night within the ‘Investing In Our Future – Special Rate Variation Proposal’ report. Read the Council report and associated documents here or check out the full Business Paper (look for page 57).

    We will keep you posted about Council’s decision and any further opportunities to comment. For more information visit www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SRV

    Earlier time announced for Council meeting
    Please note that Council's final Ordinary Meeting for the year has been brought forward an hour to ensure all items on the agenda are heard. The public meeting will now start at 2.30pm next Wednesday 9 December 2015 in the Civic Centre on Elizabeth Street, Moss Vale.

    Wingecarribee Shire Council will consider a report outlining the recent response to Special Rate Variation (SRV) surveys on Wednesday 9 December 2015 and resolve whether to continue with consultation.

    Councils considering a rate increase must comply with the requirements set out in Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) guidelines, including a notification confirming their "intention to apply" while they continue with consultation. The actual application (due in February 2016) cannot be submitted until Council makes a formal resolution to do so.

    The next stage of consultation, should Council agree to it, would see a draft Delivery Program 2013-17 (Revised December 2015), draft Long Term Financial Plan 2016-2026 and draft Strategic Asset Management Plan 2016-2026 placed on exhibition until the end of January 2016. These documents provide greater detail about the community benefits each special rate variation scenario would provide.

    These plans are being considered by Council on Wednesday night within the ‘Investing In Our Future – Special Rate Variation Proposal’ report. Read the Council report and associated documents here or check out the full Business Paper (look for page 57).

    We will keep you posted about Council’s decision and any further opportunities to comment. For more information visit www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SRV

    Earlier time announced for Council meeting
    Please note that Council's final Ordinary Meeting for the year has been brought forward an hour to ensure all items on the agenda are heard. The public meeting will now start at 2.30pm next Wednesday 9 December 2015 in the Civic Centre on Elizabeth Street, Moss Vale.

  • Survey closed. Response to be considered by Council in December

    7 months ago
    Photo

    The survey about the Special Rate Variation closed at midnight on Monday 2 November 2015.

    An independent research company is now analysing the community response. The responses collected via this website, postal returns and a telephone survey will be reported to Council in December 2015.

    We will keep registered YourSayWingecarribee members updated on progress via email. If you're not already registered you can sign up here.

    The survey about the Special Rate Variation closed at midnight on Monday 2 November 2015.

    An independent research company is now analysing the community response. The responses collected via this website, postal returns and a telephone survey will be reported to Council in December 2015.

    We will keep registered YourSayWingecarribee members updated on progress via email. If you're not already registered you can sign up here.

  • Come and chat to us at a kiosk or ask a question.

    7 months ago
    Photo_3

    We're visiting towns and villages across the Shire to ensure that residents are aware of the opportunity to comment about the Special Rate Variation proposal. Pop in to have a chat with a staff member.

    If you can't make it to a kiosk but have a question, please use our ask a question facility and we will get back to you shortly.


    We're visiting towns and villages across the Shire to ensure that residents are aware of the opportunity to comment about the Special Rate Variation proposal. Pop in to have a chat with a staff member.

    If you can't make it to a kiosk but have a question, please use our ask a question facility and we will get back to you shortly.


  • Media Release provides history and overview of proposal

    8 months ago
    Cement

    The decision to begin consultation follows a recent Asset Survey undertaken by Council.

    “Back in August Council commissioned an independent consultant to undertake an asset survey,” explained Council’s General Manager, Ann Prendergast.

    “This report revealed that residents were relatively supportive of a proposal by Council to increase funding for its assets including parks, stormwater drainage and buildings,” Ms Prendergast said. “This report follows on the back of a community satisfaction survey undertaken in July which highlighted roads and general infrastructure as some of the areas requiring most urgent attention.”

    The customer satisfaction survey follows on from... Continue reading

    The decision to begin consultation follows a recent Asset Survey undertaken by Council.

    “Back in August Council commissioned an independent consultant to undertake an asset survey,” explained Council’s General Manager, Ann Prendergast.

    “This report revealed that residents were relatively supportive of a proposal by Council to increase funding for its assets including parks, stormwater drainage and buildings,” Ms Prendergast said. “This report follows on the back of a community satisfaction survey undertaken in July which highlighted roads and general infrastructure as some of the areas requiring most urgent attention.”

    The customer satisfaction survey follows on from Council’s Fit for the Future Improvement Action Plan submitted to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in June this year. One of the identified key improvement strategies of this endorsed action plan included an application to IPART for a Special Rate Variation.

    “Our Fit for the Future submission was a significant milestone document for this Shire,” Ms Prendergast said. “It detailed how we proposed to guide our Shire’s growth and deliver quality services in-line with our community’s expectations in the years ahead.”

    “It highlighted where we both met the State Government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks but also detailed our short-comings and our proposed improvement strategies to achieve the remaining targets.”

    Under the Fit for the Future reforms, councils across the State had to meet a series of ‘fitness’ criteria relating to scale, capacity and financial health.

    In an earlier review undertaken by the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel,

    Wingecarribee was categorised as sustainable in its current form and not recommended for

    amalgamation.

    “Even though our Shire wasn’t earmarked for a merger and we had a healthy financial platform from which to prepare our submission, we still have much work to do to meet the remaining criteria and prove we can remain as a stand-alone Council,” Ms Prendergast said.

    In particular, the review found that Wingecarribee Shire Council needed to invest more in asset renewals.

    “This means we need to spend more money on existing infrastructure like our roads and footpaths or face a larger bill down the track as they deteriorate with age,” the General Manager added. “It’s an issue not unique to our Shire and is a situation being grappled with across all levels of government.”

    A range of strategies to meet the remaining benchmarks by 2020 was included in the adopted submission including an SRV application. This application would form part of Council’s broader longterm financial sustainability approach.

    “We’ll be visiting various locations and attending numerous events throughout the Shire,” Ms

    Prendergast said. “We encourage as many people as possible to attend to learn more about the proposal.”

    Meetings scheduled for Wednesday 21 October at the Moss Vale Civic Centre will also feature question time with senior management of Council.

    In coming days households across the Shire will also receive an information booklet detailing different funding scenarios and options. This will include a Reply Paid postcard survey and will be further followed up by a random telephone survey and an online survey.

    “It’s really important that our residents provide us with their feedback and opinions because ultimately, their decision will influence the course of action that Council proposes,” Ms Prendergast said.

    “We’re waiting to hear how our residents want our Shire to look and feel in the years ahead.”

    For more information including the full schedule of public Information Kiosks visit Council’s online consultation hub www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au

  • Booklet about Special Rate Variation coming to your letterbox soon

    8 months ago
    We_need_your_help

    Distribution of a booklet about the Special Rate Variation proposal will commence from 7 October 2015. It will be delivered to all households and also posted to non-resident ratepayers. Distribution is via Australia Post and may take up to 7 working days to arrive.

    Please read the booklet carefully BEFORE completing the survey. Consider what improvements you'd like to see around your area as well as across the Shire. Take a look at the OPTIONS and think about the impact on your rates.

    Distribution of a booklet about the Special Rate Variation proposal will commence from 7 October 2015. It will be delivered to all households and also posted to non-resident ratepayers. Distribution is via Australia Post and may take up to 7 working days to arrive.

    Please read the booklet carefully BEFORE completing the survey. Consider what improvements you'd like to see around your area as well as across the Shire. Take a look at the OPTIONS and think about the impact on your rates.