Friday, 09 December 2016 15:42

Rate peg will cripple councils’ strategic capacity

Survey peg. Survey peg. Credit: iStock.com/wavemovies

Media release, 8 December, 2016

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has slammed the NSW Government’s decision to impose harsh limits on council rates at a time when local government is being asked to increase its financial sustainability and strategic capacity.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “The government’s decision to impose a 1.5 per cent rate peg stands at complete odds with its call for councils to raise the bar on infrastructure and service provision,” he said.

“For many years the government has limited councils’ ability to attract funds through rates, causing chronic infrastructure backlogs and severely limiting local government’s ability to deliver community facilities, critical services, and maintain local roads,” said Cr Bali.

“In Western Sydney this pressure is amplified by the need to provide increased infrastructure and services for brand new communities in the region’s growth centres.

“We are being asked to build new roads, new facilities and new services with less income and with half a billion dollars’ worth of road maintenance backlog hanging over our heads,” said Cr Bali.

“Western Sydney councils are also being asked to become equal partners with the Australian and NSW Governments in building a new Western City, the size of Adelaide by 2056.

“It is illogical and entirely unreasonable that the NSW Government expects Western Sydney to accommodate an extra million people and provide 300,000 jobs over the next 20 years while at the same time imposing a rate peg that is inconsistent with the region’s growth,” he said.

“How can we help build a world-class city when we can’t even afford to maintain our existing streets?”

“If the state and federal governments are serious about partnering with Western Sydney councils to deliver Australia’s next great city, then the issue of rate-pegging will need to be on the agenda of the Western Sydney City Deal,” he said.

“Contrary to building a regional focus, limiting council budgets will force them to turn their attention inward as they attempt to plug the gaps; effectively crippling strategic capacity,” said Cr Bali.

[ENDS]

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2016 12:36

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