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Media Release – 2 August 2023 – Special Rate Variation Community Reference Group – community call out

Aug 2, 2023

Hilltops Council is exploring the option of a Special Rate Variation (SRV) application. An application for a SRV is generally requested in order to increase income, and is submitted to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). The reason for an application typically stems from Council needing to increase their rates income to continue to provide existing Council services or to improve them.

Council need to notify IPART in November 2023 if we are thinking about applying for a SRV. So, we are seeking feedback from the Hilltops community over the next few months to help inform this decision.

One way to generate feedback is to establish a Community Reference Group. We want to work with a diverse group of people with good community networks and with a passion for effective and efficient local government practices.

This group would undertake an in-depth exploration of the relative merits in applying for a SRV. The group would review Council’s current financial position, service performance, productivity and cost options at its disposal. This would happen over a series of four meetings, between late August and early November 2023. These meetings would be in a workshop format and would be facilitated by Council staff. At the final meeting, the group will meet with Councillors to present their findings.

We are looking for diverse opinions from a large cross-section of our community. We want to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about a possible SRV. We believe there is no better way of doing this than by listening to people in our community.

If you believe you would be a good candidate to join the ‘Special Rate Variation Community Reference Group’ we want to hear from you. Please complete our online form to register your interest in joining the group. This form can be found on our website under the ‘Have Your Say’ page.

There will be 24 members, 12 invited and 12 self-nominated, in the community reference group. Members will be chosen to ensure a cross-section of the Hilltops community is represented.

This is one step in community consultation, there will be many opportunities to contribute to the SRV conversation. Residents will be able to have their voices heard via other avenues, such as a detailed survey and at least 20 workshops across the Hilltops.

Expressions of interest for the SRV Community Reference Group close 5pm Friday 18 August 2023.


Media enquiries – Hilltops Council 1300 445 586