Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Tamworth Regional Council resolved to proceed with an application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a permanent Special Rate Variation (SRV) of 36.3% over two years.

The application will comprise of a variation of 18.5 per cent from July 1, 2024-25 and 15 per cent in 2025-26 (including the forecasted rate peg). The significant rates hike has substantial opposition but TRC says they need it to ‘secure the financial future for the region’.

Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said the difficult decision was made recognising the community’s feedback while also trying to ensure Council’s financial future, addressing the widening gap between Council’s income level and the growing costs of providing current services and infrastructure.

“I want to sincerely thank members of our community who took the time to provide Council with feedback during the consultation period,” he said.

“An increase in rates is never welcome news and not something that Council wants to be doing.”

“However, it’s important to recognise that this SRV application is not the only action Council has considered to improve overall financial sustainability.”

“Additionally, we have a plan to implement a further 24 actions in the coming years providing further annual net savings and benefits of $1.6 million and one-off net savings and benefits of $2.2 million to help maintain financial viability,” Mayor Webb said.

In considering feedback from the community consultation, Council endorsed additional measures to ensure adequate assistance is provided for ratepayers experiencing genuine financial hardship. These included an increase in pensioner rebates on Ordinary Rates. The rebate will be $50 in addition to the State Government Funded existing rebate in the first year if a Special Rate Variation is approved and enacted, and an additional $50 ($100 in total) in the second year of the Special Variation and continue ongoing.

During the consultation process, Council received more than 850 submissions from the community. Council now intends to formally submit an application to IPART by the end of January 2024 accompanied by a comprehensive report summarising the feedback received.

Community members will have additional opportunities to provide feedback directly to IPART as part of the application process and details on how to have your say can be found on their website at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.

IPART will then consider the application and provide a decision in May 2024. If Council’s application is approved, the rate increase will come into effect on 1 July 2024.

To keep up to date with the progress follow the project page on Council’s website www.haveyoursay.tamworth.nsw.gov.au

Read our Explainer on SRV’s and the role of IPART

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