Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s Rate Rise Approved by IPART
The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has given the green light to Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s application for a rate increase of 18% per year for three years. Mayor Kenrick Winchester expressed his satisfaction with the approval, stating that the council had carefully considered community feedback and opted for the middle option out of three scenarios presented.
Addressing Financial Sustainability and Supporting the Community
The rate variation aims to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the council while continuing to provide essential services to the community. Mayor Winchester emphasized the importance of these services, including road maintenance and upgrades, community facilities, libraries, sports fields, parks, amenities, and community events.
In addition to the rate increase, the council has extended the $40 pensioner rebate to all eligible pensioners in Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. This means that eligible pensioners can receive rebates of up to $460 off their general rates and water and sewer charges.
To address financial sustainability, the council plans to implement budget savings of $5.5 million per year. While funding for local roads has been prioritized in this year’s budget, some projects, such as asset renewal programs and new footpath, playground, and environmental projects, have been deferred until they can be afforded. The council remains reliant on grant funding for these important upgrades.
Deferred Projects and Future Plans
Mayor Winchester mentioned that several projects, including the Monaro Street Upgrade and Stage 2 of the Regional Sports Complex, have been deferred. However, he also highlighted future opportunities for revenue generation, such as selling property assets when buildings become vacant after the completion of the new Council Cultural and Civic Precinct building.
The rate variation will come into effect on July 1 and applies to the total pool of general rates collected by the council.
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