Published on 16 November 2023
Goulburn Mulwaree Council, in its commitment to both community welfare and legislative obligations, has revised its approach to the proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV). This adjustment comes in response to community feedback, particularly concerning the increased cost of living and financial pressures faced by residents.
At the Council Meeting to be held on Tuesday 21 November 2023, Council will consider an amended proposed SRV that will be phased in over a three-year period. The proposed rate increases within the Council report are as follows:
This represents a total cumulative increase of 51.2% over the three-year period, with that increase to be permanently retained within the rate base. As Council’s original proposal was for a total increase of 51.2% over two years, the maximum increase for any period cannot exceed 51.2%. As such no rate peg will be applicable in the third year of the proposed SRV.
Mayor Peter Walker says: “In light of the community's feedback, Council has expanded its Hardship Policy. This enhancement is targeted to provide additional support to those in financial distress, ensuring equitable and fair implementation of the SRV. The change includes a new SRV provision that enables ratepayers who experience distress to enter into an arrangement for up to three years to repay outstanding rates with no interest applied to the debt, provided repayments are made as agreed”.
“To further support our community, particularly the elderly, Council has also revised its Pensioner Concession Policy. The first year of the proposed SRV will see an increase in the pensioner rebate by $75 per annum, escalating to $100 per annum in the second and subsequent years. This initiative is part of our ongoing effort to support the most vulnerable members of our community.
Through all Councils, we are looking at addressing the cost shifting issues from State and Federal Governments as well as looking at our own efficiencies”.
“Councillors are dedicated to fulfilling their legislative duties to ensure the Council's financial sustainability, and these decisions are not made lightly. This responsibility is balanced with a deep commitment to the well-being of our community, ensuring that Goulburn Mulwaree remains a vibrant and sustainable growing regional city.” Mayor Walker continued.