From the Mayor - 23 February 2022
We’re still receiving great feedback about our wonderful outdoor Street Party held at Mosman Junction earlier this month during which so many of our residents supported our local businesses after the challenges of the past two years. Many of our regular activities have also resumed or expanded, with Mosman Youth Centre opening for drop-in Tuesday to Friday afternoon and children’s activities resuming at the Barry O’Keefe Library and Creation Space.
New Councillors Pip Friedrich and Michael Randall are about to attend their inaugural Local Government NSW Conference, which is being held in Sydney from 28 February to 2 March with a number of state government reforms expected to be hotly debated on the floor of the conference.
One of the issues for Mosman is the recent decision by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to limit the annual increase of council rates to 0.7%. Whilst this may seem like a good thing at first blush, it is the lowest in two decades and does not align with actual or projected cost of living increases. This misalignment will result in a real decrease in Mosman Council’s income and put further pressure on our service delivery, compounding the losses already experienced due to the COVID pandemic. Council will join its neighbours and other councils right across the state in urging the NSW Government to review this decision which will significantly disadvantage local communities and deliver hardship and inequity to all NSW councils.
Council is also calling on the NSW Government to withdraw the Environmental, Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021. This proposed legislation will see NSW councils lose significant income, which will be channelled into NSW Treasury and away from local communities. We, and our neighbouring councils, have taken a strong advocacy position against this and will continue calling for the withdrawal of these amendments so that no council faces major financial disadvantage.
Council is about to hold a number of strategic planning workshops to review our delivery program and approach for this current term (collectively called MOSPLAN). Given the adverse economic and social impacts of the COVID pandemic, Councillors will carefully and diligently assess every project on merit and take every measure possible to ensure that the most needed and worthwhile projects receive priority.