I write in reference to the article about the newly appointed Central Coast Council CEO, David Farmer (CCN291), who states he is in for the long haul.
This is an admirable notion, however as a rate payer facing a significant rates rise, I would think the longevity of his tenure would be subject to him achieving any KPIs established at the conclusion of the public inquiry.
Of concern is his statement that he is predicating IPART approving a 15 per cent rate increase as a key to achieving his goals.
With the imminent public hearing there is no guarantee that IPART will approve any increase apart from a CPI increase.
Hence, I believe Mr. Farmer should be planning a recovery based on the worst-case scenario; that is developing a strategy based on IPART only supporting a CPI increase and not the 15 per cent.
The reality, as stated in the parliamentary debate, is some sectors of the Central Coast community could be facing a rate increase of 43 per cent.
In contrast, Brisbane City Council owner-occupied residential rates are on average $1,288.71and have risen by 2.5 per cent, which is offset by a six-month rates freeze, achieved by the Special COVID-19 Rebate, resulting in a net rates increase of 1.25 per cent.
This compares to 2.5 per cent in the 2019-20 budget.
Councils where Mr Farmer has held the position of CEO include: Ipswich, where average rates are $1,375 per annum; and Wollongong, where average rates are $1,479.00 per annum.
My rates are currently $1,495.95, already higher than Brisbane City, Ipswich and Wollongong.
With an increase of 15 per cent this would increase to $1,730.34 or $2,139.21 with a 43 per cent increase.
The NSW State Government has for some time envisaged the Central Coast becoming a growing regional economic hub.
Raising rates by any more than CPI is counter intuitive to achieving that vision and one can only imagine detracting anybody or business from relocating to the Central Coast.
I join the Central Coast chorus in stating that the financial woes of Central Coast Council should not be worn by the rate payers, but by those that caused it.
Email, May 10
Dennis Silvers, Narara