Council Column - 7 May 2021 -Mayor Brian Ingram

7/05/2021


I am pleased to report that at the April Council Meeting held last week, Council awarded the construction tender for four bridges within the Hilltops. These bridges are Wambanumba, Hannons, Spring Creek and Cudgell Creek. It is great to see these projects progress.
 
 
Council is currently undertaking a process of public consultation in relation to the harmonisation of Council’s rating structure. The changes to the rating structure will impact all rate payers as we move to a single rating structure across the Hilltops Local Government Area (LGA).
Following the amalgamation of NSW Councils on 12 May 2016, the NSW Government requires councils created in 2016 to develop a single rating system for their LGA by 1 July 2021. Council is seeking to create a consistent rating system that is a fairer approach for all ratepayers, regardless of dwelling or business type.
 
Many ratepayers have raised concerns that the harmonisation will result in an increase to Council’s income. This is not the case, the total revenue generated by rates is capped by the State Government, for 2021-2022 the increase for Council’s total rates income is capped at 2.00%. Accordingly, the harmonisation will not generate additional revenue for Hilltops Council.
 
To assist you in understanding the impact of rates harmonisation on you, Council have developed a specially built calculator that allows you to compare the rates you have paid this year against those Council is proposing under the harmonisation.
 
Along with the calculator, Council have developed a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address common questions arising from the harmonisation process. The calculator and frequently asked questions can be accessed via the following link: http://www.hilltops.nsw.gov.au/Council/About-the-council/Draft-Polices-Procedures-on-Display.aspx
 
Council invites submissions in writing to submissions@hilltops.nsw.gov.au or Locked Bag 5, Young NSW 2594 by 12 noon on Friday 21 May 2021.
 
A reminder that the Local Government Elections are scheduled to take place in September this year. Council will be holding a series of information sessions for potential candidates in the lead up to the election. In the meantime, I encourage anyone who passionate about what happens in their community and is interested in standing, to contact Council’s General Manager Anthony O’Reilly on 1300 445 586 for further information.
 
Brian Ingram