BLAYNEY mayor Bruce Kingham says a recommendation to increase council rates by 100 per cent over the next decade would need the community’s acceptance if it is to be implemented.
Extensive community consultation would also need to occur before any request to introduce a special increase on general rates is lodged with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), he said.
A draft Long Term Financial Plan prepared by council staff recommended the council introduce a special 7 per cent rate increase each year from July 1 next year until 2021.
The special rate increase would be in addition to the average estimated 3.3 per cent annual state government allowed rate increase as part of rate pegging.
Councillors held a workshop to discuss the plan last Tuesday.
“The aim was to look at all funding options that would let us provide the service levels contained in our Community Strategic Plan,” Cr Kingham said.
“I can assure everyone that we will be consulting extensively with residents on the Long Term Financial Plan and any special rate, and we will need the community’s acceptance before we submit any application to the IPART.”
The need to maintain and consolidate asset and infrastructure programs to ensure the council can keep up with the rising costs of materials and services was also recognised at the workshop, council general manager Glen Wilcox said.
Councillors and staff will hold more workshops over the next six months to further discuss the plans.
As part of the 2012-13 Operations Plan, general council rates will increase by 3.3 per cent from July 1.
The council will also collect an additional $1.57 million from a new special mining rate variation, which also comes into effect from July 1.