AGENDA


Extraordinary Council Meeting

 

Monday, 08 February 2021

6.00pm

 

 

BLENDED MEETING

Dragon Room (Level 1, Georges River Civic Centre, Hurstville)

and

Skype Online Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council – Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021                                                                                                                                                                  Page 1

 

Extraordinary COUNCIL Meeting

 ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.     OPENING

2.     ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

3.     APOLOGIES / LEAVE OF ABSENCE  

4.     NOTICE OF WEBCASTING

5.     DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

6.     PUBLIC FORUM

7.     FINANCE AND GOVERNANCE

CCL001-21       New Rates 2021

(Report by Chief Financial Officer)............................... 3

 8.    CLOSE


Georges River Council - Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021                                                                                                                                                                 Page 1

Finance and Governance

Item:                CCL001-21   New Rates 2021 

Author:            Chief Financial Officer

Directorate:     Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:    Finance and Governance

 

 

 

Recommendation:

1.     Financial Sustainability

(a)    That Council acknowledge the concerns expressed by the Audit Risk and Improvement Committee at its July 2020 meeting, over the projected operating and cash flow deficits and that the estimates indicate that Council will not be financially sustainable and this will expose Council to significant risks to service delivery, governance and reputation.

(b)    That Council note the Audit Risk and Improvement Committee has recommended that Council consider measures to immediately address the key financial sustainability risk, particularly in regard to increasing revenues to secure Council’s immediate and long term future.

(a)    That Council notes the forecast operating financial sustainability issues have accelerated from original estimates due to COVID-19 higher than anticipated costs and reduced income in 2019/20 and 2020/21.

(b)    That Council note the findings of the NSW Productivity Commission December 2020 report, that the average rates per capita in NSW ($591 in 2019) are significantly lower than the average for all other states ($835) and for Georges River ($454).

2.     Community Engagement

(a)    That Council notes the outcome of the comprehensive and thorough community engagement program during 2019 and 2020 for the proposed New Rates 2021, which:

i.   Affirmed strong community support for a single rating system including support for the minimum rates for business and residential as proposed in 2020, including 100% support by members of the Citizen Advice Group and 89% of webinar participants; and

ii.   Demonstrated a multi-year Special Rate Variation of 5.8% in 2021/22 (3.3% Special Rate Variation and 2.5% assumed rate peg), followed by 5.8% per year for 4 years has considerable community support, including 100% support by members of the Citizen Advice Group and 65% of webinar participants in 2020.

(b)    That Council note the community’s lack of support for a reduction in the level or standard of services provided by Council.

(c)    That Council adopt the revised Long Term Financial Plan within the Resourcing Strategy.

 

3.     IPART Applications

(a)    That consistent with community support and desire for a fairer and more equitable rate structure, Council submits a Minimum Rate application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to harmonise the residential minimum rates for rateable residential properties to $965.80.

(b)    That consistent with community support and desire for a fairer and more equitable rate structure, Council submits a Minimum Rate application to IPART to harmonise the ordinary business minimum rates for rateable business properties to $1,100.

(c)    That consistent with community support and desire for a fairer and more equitable rate structure, Council submits a Minimum Rate application to IPART to harmonise the business subcategory minimum rate for the Strategic Centres of Kogarah and Hurstville to $1,500.

(d)    That consistent with community support and desire for a fairer and more equitable rate structure, Council submits a SRV application to IPART to seek a permanent increase to general permissible rate income of 5.8% per year for 5 years (comprising 3.3% SRV and an assumed IPART rate peg of 2.5% per year).

(e)    That consistent with the adopted Budget Strategy since 2016, and in conjunction with the SRV application, Council continues to identify operating savings and/or additional operating income of $12 million to establish a financially sustainable future for Georges River Council.

(f)     That Council adopts the submissions to IPART, as attached to this report:

·        IPART Application form Part A Special Variation 2021/22;

·        IPART Application form Part B Special Variation 2021/22;

·        IPART Application form Part A Minimum Rate Increase 2021/22; and

·        IPART Application form Part B Minimum Rate Increase 2021/22.

(g)    That the Council website is updated with a link for community members to continue to provide feedback on the proposed rating system application, while it is being assessed by IPART.

(h)    That Council note that the IPART applications are required to be submitted before 9 February 2021.

(i)     That the General Manager be delegated authority to undertake any necessary minor administrative or editorial changes, to the submission to IPART.

4.  Service/Staff Reductions and Deletions

(a)    That should Council not proceed with the IPART application to increase the total rate income the General Manager immediately proceed with the reduction in services including the removal of 40 staff positions across the service areas identified in this report.

5.  Exposure Draft Bill

(a)    That Council note the Exposure Draft of a Bill on the local government rating system does not include any options that would resolve Council’s financial challenges. 

(b)    That the General Manager prepare a report to Council following the introduction of the Draft Bill to Parliament (estimated March/April 2021), on any financial options that may become available for inclusion in Council’s draft 2021/22 Budget process.

 

Executive Summary

1.     The purpose of this report is to provide information on the New Rates 2021 to support Council in considering the following:

·        Establishing a fairer and more equitable new residential rate structure for Georges River Council. (Attachment 3)

·        Establishing a fairer and more equitable new business rate structure for Georges River Council. (Attachment 4)

·        Submission of applications to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on the minimum and Special Rate Variation. (Attachment 2)

2.     Accompanying the above items is information on the following:

·        The outcomes of a second round of community engagement on the revised New Rates 2021 proposal for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) and new rating system across the Georges River LGA. (Attachment 1)

·        The consequences of not proceeding with a special rate variation to increase rate revenue.

·        Background on the Rate Restructure Program to date that resulted from the Council resolution (FIN057-19 and CCL049-20) of 26 August 2019 and 27 August 2020.

Background

3.     Council resolved in 2018 to develop a program for the preparation of a new residential and business rates structure for the Georges River Council Local Government area (LGA), which was also to include options that would strengthen Council’s financial sustainability and replace the cessation of the former Hurstville City Council’s Special Rate Variation (SRV) from July 2021.

4.     At the Extraordinary Council Meeting held on Monday 10 February 2020, Council considered the results of the community consultation which outlined there were more than 6,000 responses received from residents.  The consultation found that 78% of respondents were supportive of introducing a consistent minimum rate across the city and 66% supported a minimum rate increase to $965.80.  Additionally, 54% of respondents were supportive of Council applying to IPART for a SRV to improve Council’s financial sustainability and replace the expiration of the former Hurstville Council SRV. The SRV application was prepared to reduce Council’s operating deficit by $8 million.

5.     At that meeting, Council resolved not to proceed with the application for the SRV or the harmonisation of rates in 2020/21 and instead to investigate staff reductions and salary savings as part of future cost saving measures. Following the adoption of the budget in June 2020 and the presentation of the revised LTFP, Council resolved to recommence consultation with the community on a New Rates 2021 proposal.  

Applications to IPART

6.     The relevant attachments and appendices to this report will be submitted to IPART if Council adopts the recommendations. IPART will announce the tribunal’s decisions in May 2021. All applications are available for viewing on IPART’s website.

7.     The minimum rate application is composed of two documents, one being a written submission and the other a rate data workbook. The written submission requires the following points to be addressed:

·        Rationale for increasing the minimum rates above the statutory limit.

·        Impact on ratepayers.

·        Consultation on the proposal.

8.     The Special Rate Variation (SRV) application is composed of two documents, one being a written submission and the other a rate data workbook. The written submission requires the following points to be addressed:

·        Need for the variation.

·        Community awareness and engagement.

·        Impact on ratepayers.

·        Exhibition of IP&R documents.

·        Productivity improvements and cost containment strategies.

9.     Application submission to IPART is due 8 February 2021. Not proceeding to this deadline would mean delaying for the 2022/23 financial year submissions cycle to open and additional modelling and community consultation costs.

10.   The application to IPART cover the following items:

·        A SRV to permanently increase general permissible rate income by a multiyear increase of 5.8% per year for the next 5 years (cumulative increase of 29%, inclusive of 16.5% SRV and assumed rate pegs of 2.5% per year or total of 12.5%).

·        Resolve the widening operating deficit by increasing rate revenue by approximately $23 million and retaining that in the base on a permanent basis.

·        Adopt the proposed rating structure of;

o   A Minimum Residential Rate of $965.80.

o   A new Business Minimum Rate of $1,500.00 for the “Major Commercial Centres of Hurstville and Kogarah” sub-category.

o   A new Business Minimum Rate of $1,100.00 for the “Other Business” sub-category.

o   A new Ad valorem Business Rate for the “Major Shopping Complex” sub-category.

Rate Path Harmonisation Obligations

11.   The existing provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 limit the ability for metropolitan and urban councils to apply differential residential rates.

12.   Due to existing obligations for residential sub-categorisation options (refer to Section 529 of the Act), following the end of the rates path protection councils will be required to equalise residential rates by setting the same rate in the dollar (ad valorem rate), minimum and/or base.

13.   The Minister has temporarily delegated her powers under s.548 of the Act to the Deputy Secretary, Local Government, Planning and Policy, Department of Planning Industry and Environment (the Deputy Secretary) to determine minimum rates applications from those newly merged councils that have yet to harmonise their rates. Previously this delegation was assigned to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

14.   New councils are only eligible to apply under this temporary, alternative pathway if it seeks to set a harmonised minimum rate for ordinary rates across its new council area that is higher than the current statutory limit of $554 but is no higher than the highest minimum rate of any one of the former councils or part of a former council area that was previously approved by IPART (plus the 2021-22 rate peg).

15.   The New Rates 2021 proposal that is currently on community consultation includes a Special Rate Variation to increase Council’s rate total income, a harmonised and equitable residential minimum rate and various changes to the business rating structure that also include higher business minimum rates than any of the former Councils.

16.   Therefore, as our proposal for the New Rates in 2021 is more comprehensive than establishing a new minimum residential rate, the changes announced by the Minister do not align to the entire proposal or resolve Council’s financial challenges and the entire proposal is recommended to be submitted to IPART. Councils seeking to utilise the new temporary provisions are required to submit their applications and supporting documentation directly to Office of Local Government by no later than 26 February 2021. 

17.   In late December 2020, the NSW Government released an exposure draft of a Bill on the local government rating system. A section of the exposure draft relates to the possibility of allowing merged councils to gradually harmonise residential rates over 4 years. The exposure draft does not propose any changes that would assist in resolving Council’s financial challenges. The timing and outcome of the proposed draft bill is unknown.

Councillor Workshops/Briefings

18.   Over the past three years, 15 workshops have been held, providing details and financial modelling on a range of topics relating to the New Rates program. The following policy items have been covered, but are not limited to:

·        10 Year Long Term Financial Plan and the impact of the cessation of the former Hurstville City Council’s SRV from July 2021

·        Legislated rate calculation options

·        Council’s current income split by residential and business rates

·        Comparison of average unit and average single dwelling rates

·        The impact of different minimum rates scenarios

·        Comparisons of metropolitan Council rate structures

·        Business sub-category development based on centres of activity

·        Rate income yield split across categories and sub-categories

·        Outcome and consideration of options based on community feedback

·        Refinement of the Long-Term Financial Plan based on 2018/2019 results

·        IPART application submission timeframes

·        Rating reform updates

·        Target rate revenue required to assist in resolving Council’s financial sustainability challenges

·        Service reduction figures and corresponding rate revenue increases

·        Historical information of operating deficits prior to amalgamation

·        Options of a lower SRV and the impact on sustainability

·        Differences between a one-off and multiyear SRV

·        Different minimums and their impact on different groups

·        Updates on the consequences of any proposed rating system legislative changes

·        Community consultation approach for the past two years

·        Community consultation outcomes for the past two years

19.   A significant outcome of these workshops included a proposed new minimum rate to present to the community during the two engagement periods. Councillor feedback during workshops indicated support for one consistent, harmonised, fair and equitable minimum rate across the LGA (FIN057-19 and CCL049-20) being $965.80:

·    Former Hurstville Council minimum changing from $585.72 to $965.80

·    Former Kogarah Council minimum changing from $966.73 to 965.80

Community Feedback on Proposed SRV and Minimum Rate

20.     The outcome of the comprehensive and thorough community engagement program in 2019 and 2020 for the proposed SRV and harmonisation of the rates (including changes to the minimum rates demonstrated across both years:

·    strong community support for a single rating system  including support for the minimum rates for business and residential as proposed in 2019 and 2020, this included 100% support by members of the Citizen Advice Group, and 89% of webinar participants in 2020 and 78% of all participants in 2019.

·    a multi-year Special Rate Variation of 5.8% in 2021, followed by 5.8% per year for 4 years has considerable community support, including 100% support by members of the Citizen Advice Group, and 65% of webinar participants in 2020 and 54% of all participants for a similar proposal in 2019.

Community Feedback on Service Reductions/Maintenance

21.   One of the objectives of the 2020 community engagement was to test community sentiment around preferred areas of savings, should services need to be cut to meet budget needs.

22.   Input around preferred savings was gathered from four sources:

·    Citizens Advice Group (CAG)

·    Online survey on Your Say

·    Follow-up survey to webinar participants

·    Phone survey respondents.

23.   Overall, there was strong sentiment in the community in favour of service maintenance and there are similarities in the key areas for preservation as well as those which could be potentially targeted for savings across the four groups.

24.   Based on the service engagement information; Parks, street lighting, amenities, footpaths and street cleaning had the most consistent and high support in each engagement channel for maintaining the current service level.

25.   Whereas Community centres, halls and aquatic and recreation had consistently the least support for retention across most of the engagement channels.

Service Reductions

26.   Georges River Council has embraced the fresh start that the merger of the former Hurstville City and Kogarah City Councils presented; building the foundations for a strong and sustainable organisation that will deliver outstanding results to our community and city.

27.   Council has been provided with a clear, strategic direction that has enabled Council to deliver larger capital programs, improved services, greater transparency, capacity and consistency in evidence-based decision-making.

28.   Our focus has been on expanding services across the whole area and harmonising inconsistent services, as well as developing the framework necessary for open and transparent governance on subsidies, donations and community grants to ensure sustainable decision-making.

29.   Council has, for many years, been developing efficiencies through process improvement and the implementation of cost containment strategies, whilst being restricted for the first four years of the merger being prohibited from any forced redundancies and having a frozen rates system. 

 

Items

Estimated Operating Impact

2016/17

·   Mayoral / Councillor Allowances and Costs

·   Councillor Meeting and catering costs

·   Councillor travel and expenses amendments

·   Senior Management Savings

·   Voluntary redundancies

·   Materials and Contracts and other items

·   Operating and Capital Grant sourcing

·   Implementation of Community grants program

$8.6m 

2017/18

·   Senior Management Savings

·   Voluntary redundancies

·   Materials and Contracts and other items

·   Consolidation of administration centres

·   Implementation of Community Sponsorship program framework 

$6.5m 

2018/19

·   Establishment of the Financial Sustainability Working Group (review of asset sales and revenue generation)

·   Voluntary redundancies

·   Commencement of the New Rates program

·   Partnership with NSW Department of Education for the joint use of public space

·   Council adopted a consolidated Grants, Sponsorship and Donations program

$6.0m  

2019/20

·   Employee costs budget frozen at 2018/19 level, with the Award increase absorbed

·   Materials, contracts and consultants reduced by $3.8m

·   Eligible Fees and Charges frozen at 2018/19 increase of 3%

·   Structuring of the Capital Works Program expenditure consistent with the 4 year program and aligned to grant and reserve funding sources

·   Continuation of the Councillor Discretionary Ward Fund

·   The additional voluntary pensioner rebate up to a maximum of $150, to be applied against the domestic waste management annual charge for the 2019/20 financial year (increased from a maximum of $75 for previous financial years).

·   2019/20 festive period annual close down for non-essential services

·   Seeking an increase to Council’s rate revenue

·   Closing the gap between expenditure and income.

$8.5m

2020/21

·   Employee costs budget frozen at 2018/19 level, with the mandatory Award increase absorbed

·   Reduction in employee costs, i.e. increased vacancy rate, extensions to vacancy holding periods

·   Reductions of consultancies and professional services.

·   Removal of staff benefits such as the all-staff conference, Learning and Development program

·   Removal of the Councillor Discretionary Ward fund

·   Removal of the additional voluntary Pensioner Rebate

·   Sale of underperforming commercial properties

·   Deferral of capital projects such as the new skate park, public art program, synthetic fields program, San Souci Bathers Pavilion construction, Hurstville Civic Precinct development, etc.)

$9m

30.   Each budget cycle since the amalgamation of Georges River Council has presented challenges for officers to maintain the expected services levels, comply with mandated costs whilst also delivering the Community Strategic Plan aspirations.

31.   The budget process has grown increasingly difficult with the pre-merger deficits continuing to widen due to the income declining and expenditure growing. Management strategies over the years have been balanced, in that they have been made across all areas of Council’s operations, including employee costs, Councillor costs and community assets.

32.   Based on the immediate and long-term financial position of Council, if the SRV does not proceed, significant service cuts to all Council services will be required to commence immediately with a reduction of up to 10% of Council’s workforce in year one (up to 58 staff).  

33.   Should Council not adopt the Special Rate Variation as proposed, service reductions will be implemented across the following service areas:

Proposed Service/Staff Reductions from March 2020

Directorate

Service Areas

FTE Reduction

OGM

Councillor Support Services, Internal Audit

1

Legal Services

Local Court Prosecutions and Compliance

1

Assets and Infrastructure

 

Cleansing (street sweeping/litter removal), cleansing, graffiti removal, sports fields/turf management, bushcare and regeneration, civil maintenance and footpath renewal, utility restorations, traffic engineering/civil  design, roads program, tree inspections, removal/pruning.

23

Community and Culture

Children’s Services, Libraries, Community Events, Customer Service, Community Development (aged, safety, diversity, artist in residence programs), Community Properties Management, Grants and Sponsorship Programs

11

Business and Corporate Services

People and Culture (recruitment, training, health and wellbeing programs), Rates, Records Management, Information Technology, GIPA applications, Governance, Insurance Claims, Accounts Receivable/Payable (Debt Recovery, 

5

Environment and Planning

Regulatory (Parking, Rangers, compliance), Waste, Sustainability, Environment, Development Assessment and Advisory Service, Building Certification, Strategic Planning (plans of management, reclassifications, masterplans, heritage)

15

City Strategy and Innovation

Economic Development, Communications and Media (Your Say, website maintenance, media enquiries)

2

Total

$5.8 million

58

34.   Other items that reduce Council’s income via subsidies would also be proposed to cease to generate additional funds. For example discontinuing the annual subsidy of community leases would generate more than $500,000 per year in additional income to Council. Though impacts would be seen across a variety of groups including Narwee Preschool, Jubilee Community Services, Kingsgrove Community Aid, 3 Bridges and others. There are 59 Council properties currently receiving subsidies.

35.   Discretionary community support for funding and events would be proposed to cease, or be significantly reduced including Donations ($50,000), Community Grants ($410,000), Sponsorship ($110,000) and Community decorations/events ($700,000).

36.   Service reductions are difficult to manage across the range and diverse service portfolio of Council. The complexity is based on the diverse customer base that drives Council’s service portfolio and the mix of mandatory and discretionary/essential drivers of a service.

37.   As an indication over two thirds of Council’s service portfolio is classed as discretionary/essential. The mandatory services are smaller in number but the mandatory costs are uncontrollable. Council has been briefed on the continued increases in mandatory costs that include, but are not limited to:

·    Public Liability Insurance

·    Workers Compensation Insurance

·    Emergency Services Levy

·    Government Levies (e.g. waste)

·    Annual Employee Award increase

·    Superannuation increase

·    Mandatory Pensioner Rebate

·    Utilities increases

·    Planning Panels (2)

·    Audit Risk and Improvement Committee

·    SES

·    Maintenance and Safety Standards of Assets

Financial Implications

38.   The New Rates program costs to date are approximately $350,000, which includes the financial modelling and community engagement work undertaken throughout 2019 and 2020. $350,000 does not account for the internal resourcing costs, further communication on the outcome and the Councillors time in participating in over 15 briefings, since 2018.

39.   If IPART approve Council’s SRV application, Council will receive an additional $4 million -$5 million per year, for the next five years, in additional non-budgeted operating revenue to commence in 2021/22. This will make a major contribution to placing Council in a position to make operating surpluses, which will contribute towards the securing the continuation of services, maintenance of assets and investment into new local community assets. This is critical to making a positive contribution towards improving the Net Operating Results and therefore the Operating Ratio of Council, without which operational financial commitments, loans, capital/infrastructure, will be disadvantaged and at risk.

40.   If the Council’s total rate income does not increase over the next 5 years as proposed by this rate increase, Council will be forced to reduce or cease many services. Council will be unable to respond to the needs of future population growth which will continue to strain service quality. This will result in higher use/overuse of current assets and poorer condition standards.

41.   The elimination and/or reduction of services will involve reducing the number of hours libraries are open, reduction of total employee numbers by 120 (over three years), the closure of child care centres, reduction of the frequency and extent of maintenance of open spaces, parks, sporting fields, reduced maintenance of council assets leading to their deterioration etc. These may however still be insufficient to address the problem to a meaningful extent.

42.   The current NSW rating system, which does not allow for increased rate revenue in line with increased population growth, leaves councils with two options, these being service cuts with increase population or an application to IPART to achieve rate revenue growth. Many in the community incorrectly believed that rate revenue increases in line with population growth or would prefer this to be the case. There is in principle support for rates revenue growth to support population growth.

43.   The recent recommendations of the NSW Productivity Commission review into infrastructure contributions support a shift to rate revenue growth in line with population growth. The report further notes that average rates per capita in NSW ($591 in 2019) are significantly lower than the average for all other states ($835).

44.   The Georges River Council per capita rate figure has been calculated at $454 (or $448 with the pensioner rebate) which is more than 20% lower than the current NSW average rate, further reinforcing the appropriateness of the New Rates 2021 proposal.

45.   Based on the proposed rate revenue increase over 5 years and assuming 7% population growth, the Georges River Council per capita projection will still be below the NSW average of $591, with an increase from $454 to $545 projected in 5 years.

46.   The table below highlights the disparity between Georges River Council, even with the proposed SRV.

 

Georges River Council current

Average Other States

Average NSW

Proposed with the SRV

Per Capita Rate Revenue

$454

$835

$591

$545

47.   Based on the outcomes of the community consultation, there was strong community sentiment for maintaining services levels rather than reduction.

48.   At its July 2020 meeting the ARIC comprehensively reviewed and discussed Council’s Budget for 2020/21 and the Long Term Financial Plan projections to 2028-2029.

49.   The ARIC expressed concern over the projected operating and cash flow deficits and that the estimates indicate that Council will not be financially sustainable and this will expose Council to significant risks to service delivery, governance and reputation.

50.   The current and continuing economic, financial and social impact of COVID-19 will further exacerbate these risks. The ARIC noted that Management had implemented plans for cost savings measures. Whilst such measures are important, the ARIC is concerned that they will be inadequate to address financial sustainability which may threaten the significant progress achieved since merger in harmonising Council’s processes, systems, risk management, governance and service delivery.

51.   In this regard, the ARIC recommended that Council consider measures to immediately address the key financial sustainability risk, particularly in regard to increasing revenues to secure Council’s immediate and long term future. 

Risk Implications

52.   Councillors have been apprised of Council’s poor and deteriorating financial outlook over the 10 year period of the Long Term Financial Plan over the past three years. Failure to address the unsustainable financial position places Council in contravention of S.8b of the Local Government Act 1993 and will compel Council to cut and/or reduce services to ease the unfavourable gap between income and expenditure.

53.   Council must comply with Section 8B of the Act - Principles of sound financial management; and in particular the following sub sections of section 8B:

“(a)   Council spending should be responsible and sustainable, aligning general revenue and expenses…

 (d)   Councils should have regard to achieving intergenerational equity, including ensuring the following:

(i)     policy decisions are made after considering their financial effects on future   generations,

(ii)    the current generation funds the cost of its services.”

54.   Not proceeding with the proposed SRV to increase rate revenue, will result in the widening of the deficit and a gap of over $20 million having to be resolved.

55.   The options to resolve in the long terms are limited, in that the only way to resolve is either increasing revenue or reducing expenditure through the reduction of services and employees. The other options for Council are one off and would require the continued disposal of underperforming assets. 

56.   As highlighted to Council in previous reports, the financial operating position of Council was high risk and the implications of COVID-19 has aggravated an already weak foundation. The measures taken to mitigate the financial challenges in 2020/21 were one-off and are not sustainable.

57.   Council not proceeding to seek an immediate increase in rate revenue or an immediate reduction in expenditure through service and job cuts will place Council in a highly probable position of not being able to meet operational cash commitments, such as salaries and weekly contractor payments. Forcing Council into a position, to liquidate assets.

58.   As highlighted across the industry, borrowing from restricted cash reserves to fund operations is prohibited and external borrowing options are limited with continued decline of the operating performance ratio, which is now also negatively impacting unrestricted cash ratios.

Community Engagement

59.   Extensive community engagement was conducted both in 2019 and 2020 and this is discussed in detail within Attachment 1 and the relevant appendices.

60.   Upon submitting the applications to IPART, members of the community are able to make a submission to IPART until 1 March 2021, for the tribunal to consider in determining the outcomes of Council’s applications.

61.   No submissions were received on the amended Long Term Financial Plan, within the Resourcing Strategy. This was on exhibition from 15 December 2020 to 4 February 2021.

File Reference

D21/16080

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Community Engagement Report (with Appendices) - New Rates 2021

Attachment 2

IPART Application (with Appendices) - New Rates 2021

Attachment 3

Residential - New Rates 2021

Attachment 4

Business - New Rates 2021

Attachment 5

Special Rate Variation - New Rates 2021

Attachment 6

Revised Resourcing Strategy - FINAL DRAFT

 


Georges River Council - Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021

CCL001-21              New Rates 2021                              

[Attachment 1]        Community Engagement Report (with Appendices) - New Rates 2021

 

 

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Georges River Council - Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021

CCL001-21              New Rates 2021

[Attachment 2]        IPART Application (with Appendices) - New Rates 2021

 

 

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Georges River Council – Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021

CCL001-21              New Rates 2021

[Attachment 3]        Residential - New Rates 2021

 

 

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Georges River Council - Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021

CCL001-21              New Rates 2021

[Attachment 4]        Business - New Rates 2021

 

 

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Georges River Council - Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021

CCL001-21              New Rates 2021

[Attachment 5]        Special Rate Variation - New Rates 2021

 

 

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Georges River Council - Extraordinary Council Meeting - Monday, 8 February 2021

CCL001-21              New Rates 2021

[Attachment 6]        Revised Resourcing Strategy - FINAL DRAFT

 

 

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