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Council to introduce new rate structures to provide equity to ratepayers

Posted 28 August 2019 by System Administrator (Georges River News)

Georges River Council resolved at its Council meeting last night (26 August 2019) to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review its rate structures to harmonise the residential and business rates of the former Kogarah and Hurstville Councils.andnbsp; The IPART application will change the minimum rates and include a special rate variation (SRV) of 8.1 percent in addition to the (2020/2021 rate peg), to commence in the 2020/2021 rating year.andnbsp; Mayor of Georges River Council Kevin Greene said the current level of funding generated for Council through rates is insufficient to deliver existing services into the future. andldquo;We have now reached a point where we are facing a number of challenges that impact Councilandrsquo;s long-term financial sustainability and require corrective action, as our costs are rising faster than our income,andrdquo; said Mayor Greene.andnbsp; andldquo;Council takes great pride in its role of providing and maintaining high quality local services for our community, and the rates we collect from our residents, businesses and ratepayers contribute greatly to funding these services.andnbsp; andnbsp; andldquo;A council that solely looks after roads, footpaths and rubbish removal is a thing of the past, and the scope of services that residents demand is far greater in 2019. andnbsp; andldquo;This includes stormwater maintenance, street lighting, community buildings, libraries, childcare centres, development control, environmental services, recreational and sporting facilities, community grants, health and wellbeing and the provision of assistance to organisations that provide these services. andnbsp; andldquo;Following extensive consultation with our community in 2018, Council adopted its first ever Community Strategic Plan, which details the communityandrsquo;s aspirations for the Georges River area over the next 10 years.andnbsp;andldquo;This Plan highlights many community projects, programs, initiatives and events that require substantial funding to become a reality.andrdquo; Mayor Greene also explained that an inconsistency in the manner that rates are calculated across the local government area will be rectified to ensure equity for all ratepayers.andnbsp; andldquo;Should we do nothing, Council will inevitably face a declining financial position and a vast reduction in services,andrdquo; added Mayor Greene.andnbsp; andnbsp; andldquo;We need to look beyond the short-term and invest in the long-term to ensure there is no decline in the quality of services delivered to the community.andrdquo; andnbsp; The community will soon be presented with options regarding the future financial management of Council rates, and subsequent delivery of services based on each option. andnbsp; Extensive community consultation will take place in October and November 2019, through face-to-face community information sessions and online surveys, and Council encourages community members to get involved to have their say.andnbsp; andnbsp; For the latest information, visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400.andnbsp; andnbsp;