Council to apply for Special Rate Variation

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has voted to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a permanent Special Rate Variation (SRV) of 18% each year for three years.

‘We know that the community would prefer to keep all Council services without a rate rise, and that’s what councillors would like too, however this is just not possible,’ said Mayor Kenrick Winchester.

‘Council decided to apply for an SRV of 18% each year for three years which will be a cumulative permanent increase of 64%.

‘This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision for Council, and we appreciate the time and effort the community has made to tell us about the services that are important to them and their thoughts on the proposed rate rise.

‘To do nothing would slowly condemn Council into a period of administration, where an unelected political appointee would not only introduce an SRV, but would also make every decision of Council for an indefinite period of time.

‘Councillors have decided on Scenario 2 in recognition of the community’s feedback while also trying to ensure Council’s financial future.

‘While the cumulative rates increase of 97% over three years under Scenario 3 would have allowed us to keep all Council services and make improvements, we understand the financial pressure our community is under with cost-of-living increases.

‘We recognise that the rate rise under Scenario 2 is a significant increase in the general rates, but it also requires Council to look internally and bear some of the burden.

‘This rate increase will allow us to maintain our core services, and we will need to find savings of $5.5 million each year to remain financially viable.

‘This means that we won’t be able to do everything we might like to over the next few years and we will need to consider a range of savings options.

‘We received more than 1,100 submissions from the community and this feedback will help us meet community expectations as we identify savings.

‘We will be submitting our application to IPART by 3 March 2023 which will include a report on the feedback we received during our community consultation period.

‘IPART will publish documents on their website and the community will be able to provide further feedback directly to IPART.

‘IPART will then consider the application and a provide a decision in May.

‘If our application is approved, the rate increase will come into effect on 1 July this year.’

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