Hawkesbury Council given permission for Special Rate Variation by IPART

Hawkesbury Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett said the rates rise would fund increased Council works. Picture: Geoff Jones
Hawkesbury Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett said the rates rise would fund increased Council works. Picture: Geoff Jones

HAWKESBURY Council has been given the final tick to for its proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV) by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Rates will rise by 9.5 per cent a year for the next three years – seven per cent above the rate pegging level – starting in the 2018-19 financial year, providing Council approves its budget for the 2018-19 financial year.

Hawkesbury Mayor said the former Council began the proceedings to have a SRV in 2016, and has followed the procedures by IPART.

Council has argued that there is a large number of works that Council simply does not have the capacity to do with its current financial situation.

The SRV, it has argued, will help pay to fix more roads and provide other Council services that were either lacking or at risk of being cut.

“This is great news for our community because it means that Council will be able to invest more money in maintaining and upgrading our assets and services,” Hawkesbury Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett said.

Council says it would spend $24 million to improve sealed roads and $16.5 million to seal gravel roads, among other projects to be funded thanks to the SRV.

The Mayor added that there would be an updated hardship program to deal with people who were unable to pay their rates.

“Whilst this additional income is a great outcome for everyone and it will mean we will now be able to deliver an even better service to our local community, it will also be supported by an updated hardship policy to ensure that members of our community are not disadvantaged by the Special Rate Variation,” she said.