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Last Updated
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Proposed Rate Variation

Background Information


To meet service standards and the increasing costs of infrastructure maintenance and renewal, Council is seeking community approval, to apply for an extension of existing levies and a special variation to general income.

This need has arisen from continued rising costs, and cost shifting from other levels of government, including a 50% increase in costs for street lighting, an increase in energy costs, payment of additional superannuation contributions and an increase of the Fire Brigade Levy. Some of these costs have increased by significantly more than inflation over the past three years and Council cannot continue to absorb these costs.

Along with the completion of a number of mandatory assessment and reporting documents including the Community Strategic Plan, and the Asset Management Plan,Council has identified that its physical assets are not being maintained to a level that is able to support the provision of services to levels that the community expects and can afford. Without the views and support of our residents Council will be unable to make a strong case to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

How can residents comment ?


Council wants to hear what residents think. To gain as much feedback as possible Council will be:

  • conducting 400 random telephone surveys across the local government area

  • asking residents to complete an online survey via the Council website

  • encouraging residents to watch an online explanatory video on Council’s website

  • liaising with Council’s committees

  • advertising in local media outlets

  • providing information and feedback boxes at the Town Hall Administration Centre and Gladesville Library, and conducting community forums in early February

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to: council@huntershill.nsw.gov.au or letters to:

The General Manager
Hunter’s Hill Council
PO Box 21
Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Fax 9809 7338

The closing date for all submissions is Friday, 10 February 2012.

How much more will rate payers have to pay?


What are the proposed rating scenarios and what projects will be funded?

Hunter’s Hill Council is asking residents to consider a 2.5% increase to their rates, in addition to the State Government allowable rate pegging amount of 3%, to fund a shortfall in non-discretionary operating costs, and to continue the current special rates for a further 10 years to fund road works and other infrastructure.

To the average rate payer this may mean an increase of $0.76 per week. This rate structure will provide an additional $300,000 for roadworks, $200,000 for infrastructure such as parks and community facilities, and $150,000 for environmental works.

Have other councils applied for, and received a rate increase?

Councils across NSW are suffering the same fate, with billions of dollars in asset shortfall affecting both regional and metropolitan councils.

To bridge this gap IPART was given the responsibility in 2010 for setting the amount by which councils could increase their general income each year, and by considering and determining special variation applications by councils.

The rate peg percentage that is available to each council is termed ‘rate pegging’. This is capped each year and for the 2011/12 year the rate peg is 2.80%. The percentages listed in the following table do not include the rate peg; they are annual average increases above the rate peg.

Council $ Increase to the ratepayer Purpose Annual average increase above rate peg
Hornsby Rates to increase by $76 in the first year To replace and renew infrastructure, and to maintain service levels 2.99%
Ku-ring-gai Rates to increase by $36 For environmental works, 2011/12 maintenance and recurrent operations over 8 years 5.00%
Lane Cove Rates to increase by $104 To fund asset renewal in the first year projects, including roads, footpaths, stormwater drainage and Council facilities 7.44%
North Sydney Rates to increase by $29 in the first year To fund parks renewal, streetscape maintenance, social planning programs and road works 2.53%

Where to from here?


If a majority of residents support an application to IPART for an extension and increase in rates, based on the scenarios listed above Council will make a written application to IPART in late February 2012. If, however, a majority of residents do not support an extension and increase in rates, Council will NOT make a written application to IPART. This alternative will mean that there will be a reduction in services and service levels, and this is an option that Council does not believe is desirable. IPART will notify all councils who make an application by June 2012 as to their decision. This information and more is available for download below.


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