Council votes on Application for Special Rate Variation

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Council has voted to forward an application to IPART for a 4 year special rate variation.

At Monday night's Ordinary Meeting Penrith Council agreed to forward an application to IPART for a 4 year special rate variation.

A successful application will see an increase of $55 per annum or $1.06 a week in the first year compared to the 2015-16 average rate. The cumulative increase over four years would see an increase of $250 per annum or $4.81 per week compared to the 2015-16 average rate.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said it's all about maintaining good performance and at the same time having capacity to set clear future priorities.

"Council received community feedback from its comprehensive community engagement, which indicated a community desire for improved service levels," Councillor McKeown said.

"The SRV is one important component of a broad suite of Council actions to ensure we can provide the necessary infrastructure, continue to maintain our assets and services in line with our community's expectations and growth of the City."

"Through realising efficiencies, advocating for our community's aspirations, committing to ongoing responsible budgeting and creating a unique identity, Penrith is cementing a dynamic and sustainable blueprint for future growth and development," Councillor McKeown said.

Penrith has experienced an era of unprecedented growth and change and Council is working hard to ensure the community is in a sound position to inherit a secure future, a strong identity, achievable goals and healthy financial prospects.

Council has been working to bolster our long-term future, including: 

  • Undertaking a comprehensive Financial Capacity Review to determine what can be spent now, required future funding and the efficient prioritising of projects and services
  • an organisational capacity review to find ways to do more using existing resources
  • the establishment of an independent, high calibre Property Advisory Panel to advise on our property portfolio
  • the formation of an independently run Community Panel who spent more than 1500 hours comprehensively going through Council's plans, finances, services and capacity to set the achievable and affordable priorities for the community and Council
  • the implementation of a range of productivity savings and reduced costs meaning almost $5 million per year saved off the bottom line
  • Penrith being deemed Fit for the Future by IPART, providing an independent validation  of Council's Financial Capacity Review and affirmation of Council's strategies
  • The Financial Capacity Review also included a proposed 4 year Special Rate Variation (SRV) to start in 2016-17 as well as the continuation of AREAS. An SRV would boost Council's service levels and also help realise the benefits of Penrith as a unique river city by helping to deliver Our River Masterplan, contribute to the building of multi deck CBD car parking and a state-of-the-art city park. Redevelopment of the South Creek sporting precinct also require funding.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Thursday, 11 February 2016.