News

Council gets the nod to raise rates

NORTHERN suburbs property owners get set for a rate rise.

A rate increase will help Council pay for infrastructure projects says Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery. PHOTO: Warren & Diana Ackary.

A rate increase will help Council pay for infrastructure projects says Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery. PHOTO: Warren & Diana Ackary.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved Wollongong City Council’s application for a special rate variation.

Council in February agreed to apply for a rate rise for three years of 6.13 percent, 6.23 percent and 6.24 percent.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the decision to apply for the variation was not one that was made lightly.

“We had already achieved operational savings of $20 million before embarking on this process,” he said.

“We explored all our options and consulted extensively with the community to find a solution, which also includes further operational efficiencies and service level adjustments.”

The approval of the rate rise means the draft annual plan and budget, which was put on public exhibition in May, will be able to be considered in full by Council at its June 23 meeting.

General Manager David Farmer said a rate increase  is a vital step in ensuring Council keeps its community assets in good shape.

Council said examples of capital works that could be funded through the additional revenue include road reconstruction projects at Kulgoa Road, Woonona, reconstruction of footpaths such as Railway Street, Corrimal and Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul, the replacement of the Stanwell Park Reserve Kiosk and an integrated Community Centre and Helensburgh Library.

The approval for a rate rise carries various conditions including a requirement for council to report on the progress of the proposed capital program in its annual report for each rating year from 2015 to 2023/24. Wollongong City Council was one of 32 councils which applied for the increase.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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