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A Message from the Mayor

Rates plan to boost works, sustainability

Posted Friday 12 December 2014

Following a detailed community engagement strategy that resulted in 900 submissions, Council resolved to advise the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of its intention to make application for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) in 2015-16.

Mosman Mayor Councillor Peter Abelson said the actual impact on local rates would be much lower than the notified 13% (which includes the rate peg).

“While we are proposing a 13% SRV, this does not equate to a 13% rate increase as previously reported,” Cr Abelson said. “The SRV takes into account an expiring 5% Community Environmental Contract and the 2.4% rate peg recently announced by the IPART, and assuming we had applied this to last year’s rates without seeking a special rate variation, what we are proposing in fact equates to a 5.6% increase on the ‘status quo’.”

The Mayor said that the additional rates, as well as providing a significant boost to Council’s infrastructure works and longer term financial sustainability, will also place Mosman in a much better position to respond to the State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ reforms.

“If Mosman wants to remain independent we must be able to clearly demonstrate to the State government that we have the means to do so,” Cr Abelson said.

At the 3 February Council meeting, Council will consider submissions received from subsequent consultation on its Delivery Program and Long Term Financial Plan and then decide whether to proceed with an application to IPART for an SRV. Should Council resolve to proceed applications are due to IPART by 16 February 2015.

Why is Council seeking the Special Rate Variation?

The rate rise will allow Council to improve service levels, address the current infrastructure backlog, accelerate Council’s works program and consolidate Council’s longer term financial sustainability (and in doing so will meet the NSW Government’s “Fit for the Future” criteria).

Council consulted the local community with three rating options in October-November last year, and the proposed Special Rate Variation reflects the preferred option from the 900 people who made submissions.

What will the rate rise go towards?

The proposed rise will allow service levels to be significantly improved, particularly in the area of asset renewal and maintenance and enable Council to clear its infrastructure backlog over the next 10 years. Infrastructure that will benefit includes roads, footpaths, retaining walls, buildings, parks, drainage assets and marine structures.

Additional works (along with existing planned works) which would be enabled within the next 2-3 years by the funding include:

- Significant new footpath works on Bradleys Head Rd (outside the zoo where people currently have to walk on the road as there is no footpath; also footpath works on Bradley’s Head Rd near Military Rd)
- Upgrades to walking tracks at Harnett Park, Parrawi and Sirius Cove
- Retaining wall works in Clanalpine St, Athol Wharf Rd and Glen St, Mosman and
- Significant drainage works in Whiting Beach Rd, Beach Rd and Mosman Bay.