Hart asks for feedback on rates and service levels

Council Administrator, Rik Hart

Central Coast Council Administrator Rik Hart is stepping up his campaign to have the 13 per cent Special Rates Variation (SRV) granted by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for three years from July 1 this year extended for an extra seven years.

He is asking ratepayers to take an online survey asking for feedback on “maintaining services and rates”.

The SRV (due to expire in 2024) was granted on top of the mandated 2 per cent rates peg, seeing a total rise of 15 per cent.

But Hart says maintaining Council services will be all but impossible unless the SRV is extended for an extra seven years (making 10 years total).

He said Council has done everything it can behind the scenes to help Council’s financial situation and now it was up to the community.

“Our financial recovery is on track, but we cannot become complacent about maintaining our long term stable financial position” Hart said.

“I am proposing to make an application to IPART to maintain the current level of rates for a further seven years, consistent with what we asked for earlier this year.

“This will allow us to maintain current service levels, continue to find more service efficiencies and pay back loans from surpluses that we must generate according to our agreement with banks.

“Council delivers a huge variety of services for our community including patrolling beaches; maintaining public wharves, jetties, boat ramps and ocean baths; fixing suburban traffic issues, filling potholes, repairing road shoulders and removing debris from shared pathways; maintaining town centre amenity with cleaning and security; cleaning public toilet blocks; care and maintenance of parks, reserves and roadside vegetation; environmental programs like wrack collection in Tuggerah Lakes, water quality monitoring, weed spraying, declared pest management and bush regeneration; operating the Central Coast Stadium, holiday parks and cemeteries; supporting sporting and community associations with grants; and delivering libraries, childcare centres, recreation centres, theatres, galleries, public pools; to name a few.

“I encourage the community to read the information materials, keep an open mind and tell us what services you value that make the Central Coast a great place to live.

“I am keen to hear from as many residents as possible and invite all residents, businesses and community groups and associations to book an Open Office session with me.”

In a statement released on November 22, Hart announced two possible dates for an Open Office session – the first of them on that very day.

So residents have just one more day on which to book a session – at 2pm, 4pm or 5.30pm on Monday, November 29.

To make a booking, email: theadministrator@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au.

To take part in the online survey go to yourvoiceourcoast.com/servicesandrates.

Terry Collins

1 Comment on "Hart asks for feedback on rates and service levels"

  1. What the Administrator wants from this feedback is justification on cutting services by either raising rates 34% or the fear factor of reduced services. In three years he will not be here on the Central Coast he will have retired and the ratepayers will have to endure 7 more years of rate rises! The real culprits in this bad merger are the State government and credited to the Local Government minister and the Local government Audit office for not picking up the warning signs in the Central Coast budget. Neither of them did the job they are paid for. Gross mismanagement on their part.

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