The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved Council's application for a 5% special rate variation on top of the rate cap to deliver nine community projects.
The rate variation, beginning in 2012, will generate approximately $44.6 million over ten years to contribute to the following projects:
- $43million to modernising our libraries
- $36million revitalising our coast
- $25million for improving our swimming pools
- $21million for expanding our Art Gallery
- $17million for revitalising Hunter Street
- $16million for providing new cycleways
- $10million for maximising revenue from our parking stations
- $8.7million for upgrading Blackbutt Reserve
- $3million for making parking easier
Find out more about the nine key civic projects.
Council will also fund these projects through asset sales and increased grants.
The application was lodged with IPART on 24 February 2012. IPART announced their support for the application on 5 June 2012.
The decision to submit an application followed a community consultation program that included community workshops, an onlne guest book and library on Bang The Table and an independently conducted random telephone survey of 424 residents.
Key findings of the independent survey
- 64% of respondents believe it is very important that Council implements programs to provide better facilities and infrastructure. An additional 27% said it was important and 8% said it was somewhat important, which shows 99% of respondents believe it is at least somewhat important to implement programs to provide better facilities and infrastructure
- Compared to other local government areas, resident awareness of the Community Strategic Plan (39%) is significantly greater that the local government area score of under 25%
- 62% of residents are at least somewhat supportive of the proposed special rate variation
- 74%of residents felt that it was at least somewhat important that Council is allowed to introduce the special rate variation.
If the rate increase is approved by the community and the State Government, this will mean the average residential ratepayer will pay an additional $46.98 in 2012/13 to fund the proposed projects.