Have your say on increased rates, roads and services
The shire’s residents are invited to share their thoughts on Eurobodalla Council’s draft delivery plan and budget for next financial year.
The Draft Delivery Program 2017-21 and Operational Plan 2020-21 is out for public comment, and Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes says there was never a more important year for residents to get involved.
“After this summer’s bushfires and floods, and compounded by COVID-19, we want to be sure rebuilding remains a strong focus and that our projects and services stimulate the local economy throughout recovery,” she said. Council to INCREASE rates:
Above: The proposed increase in rates (source)
The Council said in their media release "In line with most other NSW councils, rates and fees are proposed to rise by 2.6 percent - the rate pegging amount set annually by the NSW Government. The average additional cost for rates this year would be $77 for households or $1.49 per week, $179 for businesses or $3.45 per week, and $47 farmland or 92 cents per week."
Cr Innes says the proposed projects and services outlined in the draft plan are crucial to Eurobodalla’s economic recovery, now and into the future.
“Around 30 percent of Council’s $123 million budget this year will be spent on contracts and materials. We buy materials from local suppliers, we hire local contractors, we hire local plant, equipment and labour. We employ local people. 36% of Council's annual budget is spent on staff wages.
“Projects like the Batemans Bay Regional Arts and Aquatic Centre, the southern water storage, and the Mogo mountain bike trails project will deliver ongoing growth in economic activity and jobs. They’re critical to our future.”
“We know people are hurting. We have a massive task ahead to rebuild after the devastation of the fires and now COVID-19 and I can assure ratepayers that councillors and staff continue to look at ways we can support the community.
“We’ve already waived or deferred a number of fees in response to the bushfires, including food business inspection fees, bushfire certificates for DAs, and leases on Council premises. This is on top of the much-needed financial support provided to fire-impacted residents and businesses by the NSW and Australian governments.”
The Mayor said Council will continue lobbying for grants.
“Councils around the country collect less than three percent of all taxes, and we’ll keep working hard with our local MPs to make sure we keep getting our share of grant money,” she said.
“In addition to their substantial bushfire support, it’s gratifying to see the NSW Government quick off the mark to accelerate infrastructure projects in response to COVID-19, and I’m confident we’ll see our share of that.”
Residents are invited to provide feedback on the Draft Delivery Program 2017-21 and Operational Plan 2020-21 until Wednesday 20 May.