What is on exhibition?
Three of our key strategic management plans are on exhibition. These documents are on exhibition to invite community comment prior to being adopted by Council in late June 2014.
Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 - lists the strategies and projects Councils seeks to undertake next year, in order to achieve our five year Delivery Program.
Draft Revenue Policy and Fees and Charges 2014/15 - outlines all fees, charges and rates charged by Council in each financial year.
Draft Budget and Draft Capital Budget 2014/15 provides an overview of Council's financial estimates and program of Capital Works for the financial year.
Draft Wollongong Waste Recovery Park fees and charges exemption policy - sets out conditions for exemptions from tipping fees.
What about other councils, do they have a problem with their finances? Are other councils seeking a rate rise?
We’re not alone in needing to increase the amount of money we put into maintaining our ageing roads, footpaths and buildings. We’re working with the community to look at all the options available to us to make savings – not just focusing on rate rises.
In the 2012-13 financial year about 30 of the 152 local governments in NSW sought rate increases. It’s believed a further 40 will seek rate increases for the 2014-2015 financial year.
Why can’t you balance your budget? Why can’t you just balance your budget through efficiencies?
Our discussions with the community about financial sustainability haven't been about balancing a budget – they've been about finding ways to make sure we have the money for the maintenance and renewal of our city’s ageing roads, buildings, pools, footpaths, and centres.
Right now, our budget’s in good shape with a sound outlook. We’re in a positive financial position with low levels of debt and a balanced cash flow over the next 10 years. Over the past five years we’ve made savings of $20.3 million each year and put this back into improving ageing assets. But we’re going to need to do more as more of our assets age and need to be repaired or replaced.
What will happen if Council does not get permission to raise rates or raise them to the amount asked for?
Council sought a Special Rate Variation in order to increase spending on renewing our ageing infrastructure.
If the application is unsuccessful or if IPART lowers the amount of rate rise allowed, Council will reduce its planned spending on assets.
This proposed extra rates revenue is earmarked specifically for our capital works program of which our priority is renewing assets like roads, footpaths and community buildings.
Why is this my problem? Why can’t Council just fix assets that need repairing?
There’s no simple solution to securing the future of the city’s assets and services, but we need to have the conversation about how we can solve this now. These decisions will affect everyone who lives in our city. By working with the community we can develop a plan that outlines how to sustainably maintain our ageing roads, buildings and footpaths. This way we can have steps in place for the next generation.
How can I have my say?
You can give feedback to Council in a variety of ways:
post: Locked Bag 8821, Wollongong NSW 2500
online: use the online form on this page
What will happen to my feedback or submission?
All feedback and submissions received will be considered and reported to Council in late June 2014. If you make a formal submission you will receive a response from Council.