This morning Council has been informed that IPART has approved the application for a Special Rate Variation, on a permanent basis.

This means the rate increase of 13.2% that had been applied last year, will be retained with a further increase of 5% (which includes the rate peg of 2.3%) for the next three years is also applied.

This will mean that for the average residential ratepayer the increase is about $59 per year for the 18/19 financial year or $1.10 per week and about $2 per week for business rates and farmland.

Director Finance Corporate and Community Services Stephen Dunshea said, “IPART’s assessment process is rigorous and having completed their review, they have agreed that this additional revenue is needed if Council is to provide the infrastructure and services that our community needs.”

“The assessment by IPART clearly showed that Council had met all of their criteria and the increase was reasonable.”

“The increase in rates last year helped to deliver some key projects for our community which included an additional $2M in road resurfacing and rehabilitation works on a number of our road networks. We will now be able to continue to deliver into the future.”

Mayor Amanda Findley said, “It is never easy to seek an increase in rates; however it is important that we plan not only for the now but also for the future.”

“In approving the increase IPART have acknowledged that renewing road infrastructure and delivering reliable services were high priorities for the community.”

“This Council needs to ensure that it delivers facilities and services that will provide for our population, but also the population to come. We need to make smart financial decisions now.”

“Without this approval Council would have continued to operate in a deficit and would not be able to maintain the infrastructure and facilities that we currently have, let alone provide new facilities.”

“Despite recent statements about Council’s financial status, what this approval clearly demonstrates to our community is that this process was necessary and that it is reasonable.”

“The announcement will now enable Council to provide upgrades at a number of sporting fields, undertake further streetscapes works, provide improvements to community facilities and provide new public amenities and improvements to local roads. “