Special rate variation approved for Kempsey Shire Council

Kempsey Shire Council will be able to extend its environmental levy for a further 10 years following IPART’s approval of the council’s application for a 6.5% special variation. As the levy is already in place, rates within the shire will on average increase by the 2.3% rate peg in 2018-19.

This special variation will allow the council to continue to fund environmental restoration projects across the shire including bush regeneration, repair to local creeks and waterways, weed control, restoration of wildlife habitats and corridors, and flood mitigation works.

Requested special variation - 6.5% single year increase to be retained in the rate base for 10 years

Outcome (including rate peg) - Approved in full

Increase in the average residential rate 2018-19 - $18

Summary of purpose - Replace an expiring special variation to fund environmental works.

IPART has attached conditions to all of the approvals requiring the additional income to be used for the purposes outlined in the application, and that councils report to their communities about how the additional revenue is spent.

The five North Coast councils are among 13 councils across NSW (of a total of 128) to make a special variation application to increase rates for 2018-19. IPART

approved 9 applications in full, 2 applications were approved in part, and 2 applications were not approved.

IPART will set the next rate peg, to apply from 1 July 2019, in September this year to provide councils with more time to prepare annual budgets and consult with their communities if they are considering applying for a special rate variation.

The full reports on the councils’ applications are available on IPART’s website <http://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au>.

Note: All percentages include the 2.3% rate peg applicable to all NSW councils in 2018-19, and the estimated rate peg in subsequent years.