20 November 2019
Council has resolved to notify the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of its intention to apply for the incremental introduction (over three years) of a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to secure funding for the ongoing operation, maintenance and future capital upgrades of the Shire’s six public swimming pools.
If approved by IPART, the Special Rate Variation would see an increase in rates (above the rate peg), with the introduction to occur in equal increments (starting in 2020-21) and the full variation only coming into effect in the third year.
The full outline of the rate increase will be presented to the Council meeting on 11 December in the draft operational plan for the 2020/21 year. This will be placed on public exhibition for an extended period until 24 January 2020 and a community engagement plan will be developed and implemented for the period.
The draft operational plan will include the modelling for the SRV expenditure over the first 10 years and general fund infrastructure asset renewals. The decisions come after the General Manager provided a report that summarised the community engagement feedback in relation to the draft Swimming Pools Strategy Discussion Paper and the potential for the introduction of an SRV to fund the previously adopted six-pool goal.
Council is required to advise IPART of its intentions by 29 November, after which it will carry out further community information activities before a final decision will be made on whether to lodge a formal application in early February (applications to IPART must be made by 10 February 2020).
IPART will then consider the application against a set of assessment criteria, including evidence that the community is aware of the need for and extent of the rate variation.