Port Macquarie-Hastings Council takes its position on rates

Roads focus: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will apply to IPART for a permanent single year special rate variation of 3.89 per cent. If approved, the revenue will be used to maintain and renew council’s road network.

Roads focus: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will apply to IPART for a permanent single year special rate variation of 3.89 per cent. If approved, the revenue will be used to maintain and renew council’s road network.

THE roads network will benefit from the continuation of special rate variation funding if a council application gets the nod.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal for a permanent single year special rate variation of 3.89 per cent, in addition to the rate peg amount of 1.5 per cent.

The council noted this is a continuation of the funding provided by the existing special rate variation, which expires in June 2017, to maintain and renew council’s road network. 

Cr Lisa Intemann said there had been great advances made in the road maintenance situation and preventative road maintenance situation since the special rate variation commenced five years ago.

“To maintain the special rate variation means that we can continue to improve the situation and the percentage of our roads that go from a poor situation to good or even excellent,” she said.

Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peter Besseling supported maintaining the special rate variation.

He said hopefully IPART would support the special rate variation application and then the money would go to where it was really needed and where people told the council it was really needed.

Cr Peter Alley said the special rate variation would basically mean there would be a continuation of rates at the level they had been, plus the rate peg amount.

The rate peg amount equates to a $17 increase for the average residential rate in 2017-2018.

Cr Geoff Hawkins that worked out at an extremely modest 33 cents a week.

The council adopted the amended long term financial plan 2016-2026 and amended 2013-2017 delivery program.

Councillors voted 8:1 to adopt the two documents and ask the general manager to submit the special rate variation application.

Cr Sharon Griffiths lodged the dissenting vote.

A report to the February 15 council meeting said the council would be forced to revert to a reactive approach to roads maintenance if the special rate variation funding was lost.

The existing special rate variation has provided $1.7 million a year to the road network across the area. 

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