Special Rate Variation options

Monday, 23 November 2015

Council is asking the community to consider 3 options on a Special Rate Variation.

Council has a vision to shape our City into a Regional City, where community benefits include first-class infrastructure and services. A place of which we can be even prouder.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said Council is on track to deliver its part of the vision. "In recent years we've implemented a range of productivity savings and reduced costs across Council's operations, shaving $4.5 million off the bottom line annually. We continue to review our capacity and work practices to find additional efficiencies so we can do more. 

"This good work played a part in Penrith being deemed Fit for the Future by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), successfully meeting all criteria including financial security. 

Penrith's submission to IPART included a proposal to continue the Asset Renewal and Established Areas Strategy (AREAS) Special Rate Variation (SRV) which was introduced in 2006 and was applicable for 10 years. AREAS provided essential funding for infrastructure renewal, public domain maintenance and programs in the City's older areas. 

"AREAS enabled us to do more than just the bare minimum with many of our roads and buildings. This has paid off in the long run by avoiding major repairs and upgrades. We also have upgraded parks and playgrounds, reduced graffiti and litter, have cleaner streets, enhanced City commercial centres in Penrith and St Marys and brought our established older areas up to scratch. 

"Of course, there is a lot we still need to achieve our vision. We have a list of unfunded works including the need for CBD decked car parks, Our River Masterplan, enhanced recreation and sporting facilities to cater for our growing population along with projects designed to transform our two City Centres, including a City Park in Penrith." 

Council is asking the community to consider 3 options on a Special Rate Variation (SRV). 

The three options are, (1) to increase infrastructure and services, (2) maintain existing service levels, or (3) a decrease in service levels. 

"It's one thing discussing it with your friends, at work, around the dinner table or on social media, but you need to tell Council too," Councillor McKeown said. 

"You can give your feedback anywhere and anytime in person, by mail or online at yoursaypenrith.com.au. I encourage the community to get involved and tell us their thoughts." 

Council's consultation includes: 

  • An information brochure and covering letter was sent to all households recently.
  • a randomly selected participant and statistically valid and independent telephone survey has just been completed and soon to be interpreted
  • the yoursaypenrith website where the community can read detailed information on what the options are, where we have spent previous SRV funding, ask questions and leave comments. 

Council is also hosting a series of listening posts where you can talk to us staff will be available to answer questions regarding the SRV proposal: 

  • Cranebrook Shopping Centre - Thursday 19 November 2015 from 2pm till 5pm
  • Cambridge Park Shopping Centre - Thursday 19  November 2015 from 2pm till 5pm
  • Penrith City Centre - Saturday 28 November 2015 from 9am till 12pm
  • St Marys Queen Street - Saturday 28 November 2015 from 9am till 12pm 

Submissions are open until 11 December.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Monday, 23 November 2015.