Fit for the Future setting clear position

Thursday, 28 May 2015

While a number of NSW Councils have recently had approval for SRV for 2015/16, Penrith Council did not apply for an increase above the 2.4% announced for all NSW local governments.

"Council has been taking a close look at how we operate, making efficiencies and improving productivity," Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler OAM said. "This was already underway prior to the State Government's Fit for the Future reforms, requiring all councils to demonstrate long term financial stability.

"We look at all other options prior to considering a Special Rate Variation (SRV) as we know the community needs to feel confident that all avenues have been investigated before we demonstrate the need for more income through rates," Cr Fowler said. "In past years we have applied for two SRV's, one in 2011 resulting in funding  a detailed program of works and services.

"Another in 2005 to fund improvements our community told us they wanted to see. These were increased commitment to our Buildings and Roads renewal program, an enhanced public domain presence across the City and more investment in our older, established areas. So we applied, were successful, and delivered direct community benefit and real results including our neighbourhood renewal programs and other important initiatives.

"As this rate variation comes to the end of the 10 year period we will be going back to the community to see if there is continued support for these programs. There may also be other services or programs the community wants us to deliver. This will be part of any community consultation for a potential Special Rate Variation for 2016/17."

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Thursday, 28 May 2015.