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Wollondilly Council is “fit for the future” thanks to the rate rise

A substantial rate rise imposed on residents was the reason Wollondilly Council achieved ‘‘Fit for the Future’’ status.
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General manager Luke Johnson said the rate rise was essential and helped the council meet targets on seven performance measures.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) deemed the council ‘‘fit’’ and it was one of only nine Sydney councils to get the tick of approval.

Sixty per cent of the state’s councils were not ‘‘fit for the future’’.

Mr Johnson said the council begun the process of seeking a special rate variation to improve infrastructure assets and with the rate rise, the council would meet the “fit for the future”criteria benchmarks within the time frame.

‘‘If the council had not received the full rate rise that it applied for, the financial projections would have fallen well short on many of the benchmark measures,’’ Mr Johnson said.

‘‘The council’s approved four year special rate variation is the primary reason for the improvement in our projected financial performance over time.’’

IPART recommended that Wollondilly remain a stand-alone local government area.

Mayor, Cr Simon Landow said he was delighted with the announcement and saw it as a win for the community.

“The result indicates that our council can continue to make plans for the future with the security and backing of the NSW government.”

The council met the overall financial, scale and capacity, efficiency, sustainability and infrastructure and service management criteria.

Mr Johnson said the council would continue to deliver on the planned projects including the infrastructure renewal projects and forecast the infrastructure backlog ratio to fall from 15.9 per cent down to 11.7 per cent by 2019-20 and eventually reach the desired benchmark of 2 per cent by 2024-25.

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