Sunday, February 25, 2024

Blacktown council withdraws from special rates variation bid

Blacktown City Council Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, has today announced the Council will not proceed with an application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a special variation of property rates (SRV).

Earlier this month, the Council began community consultation program on the possible application.

“Feedback from our community is Council’s most valuable planning tool. Hearing from our community on important matters is vital to helping Council make the decisions that best serve our City,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

“After listening to residents and businesses at our public information sessions and reviewing the community feedback we have received, it is quite clear to me that now is not the time for an additional rate rise in Blacktown City.”

IPART set the percentage rate increase for this year (2022/23) at 0.7% and for the next year (2023/24) at 3.7%. The increases are below the current inflation rate of 6.1%.

“Rising interest rates and inflation are putting increasing pressure on household budgets and the cost of doing business in the current economic climate is putting a significant strain on families and businesses,” the Mayor said.

“I am also aware that current RBA forecasts predict that inflation will increase even further in the coming months.

“I simply cannot ignore the combined impact of all of these factors.

“Having listened to our residents and businesses, as well as the RBA experts, I cannot support an application for a special rate rise above IPART approved rate cap. I will be asking my fellow Councillors to support me in this decision,” he said.

The Mayor said he was determined to take “every possible action” to avoid adding to the growing financial difficulties being faced by local residents and businesses.

“At the same time, I will ensure Council maintains services and facilities to the highest possible standards to ensure the wellbeing of our residents and businesses,” he said.

“Unlike some councils, Blacktown City Council has not applied for a Special Rate Variation in nearly 10 years and our rates are among the lowest in NSW, but now is not the time for an extra rate increase.”

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