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Collapse Issue 520:<br />31 May 2021<br />_____________Issue 520:
31 May 2021
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Residents to pay $8M more after 42.1 per cent rate rise
Rate rise is Liberal Merger Tax, says Tesch
Public inquiry into council is open for submissions
Crouch urges residents to make inquiry submissions
Greens to start de-merger petitions
Administrator's 'facts' are wrong, says community group
Rotary club to hold book fair at PCYC
Men's Shed to hold annual sale
Arboretum receives 'koala song meter'
Open space policies under threat, says green group
Strategy lists 21 playgrounds but 20-year wait for others
Tree group gives reasons for saving council reserves
Petition to save Memorial Ave reserve sent to council
Rotary donates $1000 to each of five community groups
Tea Cosy Expo with Devonshire Teas
Fishing club donates to Vietnam veterans
Student driving course available free of charge
Special Rotary evening
Lion Island penguins benefit from Hawkesbury cleanup
Preschoolers use their own Opal cards
PCYC calls for volunteers
Encouragement to buy locally
Pearl Beach pool cleaned
Gabrielle named Volunteer of the Year
Tesch calls for support for oyster growers
MP hopeful that doctor shortage is lessening
Wednesday Wanderers travel to Davistown
New restaurant
Year's rainfall is spot on average
Details of five-storey Umina proposal available
CEN criticises 'excessive' approval of non-compliance
Contribution requirement reduced by $1200
More time for comment after portal anomalies revealed
Three townhouses proposed for sub-standard site
Flats proposal still in pre-lodgement review
Urgency to protect what green spaces we have left
State policy to protect and invest in open space
Council threat to mental and physical health and welfare
Put toll on M1 to pay council's debts
Reserve is oasis in rotting neighbourhood
Why not solar panels at carpark?
Austin Butler land should not be sold
Regional plan requires investment in open space
Breastscreen bus at Woy Woy for June
Hospital is supported by 17 volunteers
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Folk club holds house concert
Ephemeral art trail to be held over three weeks
Coastal Twist Festival preparation starts
Charli Grant appointed to Minister's student council
Umina campus students walk to Patonga
Last day for scholarship applications
Students visit Newcastle stadium for numeracy day
Whole school listens to book reading in space
Defeated in penalty shoot-out
Office staff thanked on Public Education Day
Dress rehearsal for dance performances
Three dance groups attend dress rehearsals
Outing to the shops
A virtual classroom hosts cattle farmer
Charity bowls raises $32,600
Grade 6 Pennant comes down to the wire for Umina
Ettalong Red loses to Bateau Bay for Grade 7 pennant
Slow start for Woy Woy in hard-fought encounter
Hornsby rubgy union victory in round seven
Tour de Central Coast stages to start at Woy Woy
Restricted bridge championship winners
Ducks elect new committee
Apply for funding, now, says Tesch



Residents to pay $8M more after 42.1 per cent rate rise

The Peninsula is facing a 42.1 per cent rate rise after the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has given approval for a 15 per cent "special variation" rate rise requested by former Central Coast Council administrator Mr Dick Persson.

The other 27.1 per cent will come from equalising the rate applied in the Gosford and Wyong areas, in a process labelled "harmonisation".

The rate rise equates to an average increase of $423 per dwelling - around an extra $8 million to be paid by Peninsula residents.

Peninsula businesses will face an even steeper rise - 50.2 per cent, equating to an average increase of $1557.

The Tribunal stated: "It is a matter for each council to determine how it allocates any increase across different categories of ratepayer.

"We note that the council has indicated it intends to harmonise rates from 1 July 2021, which means movements in rates due to the harmonisation will coincide with the increase due to the special variation."

It said that the council application had "largely demonstrated" a "reasonable impact on ratepayers".

"The council's average rates are currently lower than most comparable and neighbouring councils.

"However, we note that due to the simultaneous harmonisation of rates, the impacts on ratepayers are varied and in some cases substantial."

But it also noted: "The council's revised Delivery Program and Operational Plan omitted a 'no rate rise' alternative scenario and did not consider the community's capacity to pay.

"The council has proposed significant cost reduction strategies that need to be proven over time as it does not have a good track record of delivering savings."

The Tribunal said: "We decided to approve a temporary special variation of 15 per cent in 2021-22, which is to be retained for three years and then removed.

"During this three-year period, the council will be able to implement its proposed business recovery plan, (and) consult with its ratepayers regarding appropriate service levels."

In handing down its decision, the Tribunal defended its role in supporting the amalgamation in its original assessment.

It stated that the assessment of the amalgamation proposal found that the former Gosford City and Wyong Shire councils satisfied the overall financial criteria for amalgamation at that time.

"The council's failure to correctly recognise its financial position at the beginning of amalgamation was the primary cause of its current financial difficulties, not the amalgamation itself."

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