Have your say on Special Rate Variation options

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Have your say on Special Rate Variation options
    Have your say

Published 1 September 2022

To help build long term financial sustainability and meet the demands of our growing community, Woollahra Council is considering applying to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a Special Rate Variation (SRV).

This would allow Council to address a range of priority projects directly linked to heritage protection, recreation and trees, climate change action, active transport, community infrastructure and service improvements.

Three options

We are seeking community feedback on three SRV-related options, which will help identify the level of funding commitment that residents and businesses believe is appropriate for the community’s future.

The impact of COVID-19, the rising cost and increasing demand for services and materials, and increased cost shifting from other levels of government to Council have placed continued pressure on our limited income. The largest proportion of Council’s income comes from rates, however the annual rate peg (usually between 1.5 - 2.5% p.a. and historically below the inflation rate) is simply not enough to secure a financially sustainable future for Council.

Under the three SRV options, residential rates would increase at either $42, $70 or $96 on average per annum over 10 years, and business rates at either $119, $201 or $277.

Option 1 is our current situation where rates would increase by the rate peg only. This option would not achieve financial sustainability, nor would it provide additional funds to address community priorities identified in our June 2021 Community Satisfaction survey. Options 2 and 3 include a SRV, and both assist in achieving long-term financial sustainability to varying degrees, as well as providing additional funds to address key priority initiatives and cover expenses for situations including necessary works following extreme weather events.

"Thriving, inclusive, sustainable and resilient community"

“Our vision is for a thriving, inclusive, sustainable and resilient community that will benefit future generations. In order to deliver projects, facilities, outdoor spaces and services that are aligned with our vision, we need to be in a stronger financial position than we are now,” Woollahra Mayor Susan Wynne said.

“Building long-term financial sustainability will allow us to meet the demands of our growing community and to maintain and improve the services, facilities and spaces we want residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.

“We are very aware of the financial pressures everyone is under and asking you to consider paying more in rates is not something we take lightly. To this end, in the last 18 months we have undertaken a range of budget repair measures, as we wanted to make internal savings and efficiencies prior to approaching the community about a potential increase in rates.

“Your feedback on the three SRV-related options is critical and will help us identify the level of funding commitment you think is appropriate for our community’s future. I encourage you to have your say so the decisions we make next are informed by your comments.”

How to have your say

Visit https://yoursay.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/srv for further details on SRV options and dates for opportunities to speak to staff about the proposed SRV at pop ups across Woollahra and via a webinar. To have your say, you can also email at records@woollahra.nsw.gov.au, or make a submission by mail to PO Box 61, Double Bay 1360, before 9 October 2022.

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