Port Augusta City Council 2021-2022 Draft Annual Business Plan & Budget Released for Community Feedback
Rates focussed community consultations were undertaken in August 2020 with Community Forums conducted by Mr John Comrie from JAC Comrie Pty Ltd and Council Officers. Presentations were also provided to the Port Augusta Residents and Ratepayers Association and the Port Augusta Coastal Homes Association earlier this year. The presentations outlined the changes to the rating system and how the new rating process would potentially be rolled out.
Extensive modelling by Council has been undertaken in relation to the new rating system. Consideration has been given to various levels of fixed charge and differential rates before adopting the draft Annual Business Plan and Budget for public consultation.
The new system will see general rates, on average, reduce for commercial/industrial properties, vacant land and the category of ‘other’. On average, residential properties, coastal holiday settlement and primary production will increase. The average movement for residential properties being a $217 increase.
Council will ‘phase in’ the changes over the next few years by setting a cap on the increase from the general rates paid in 2020/2021 to the general rates to be paid in 2021/2022. Therefore, properties whose rates will increase significantly will be capped at a maximum increase of 20% from the previous year’s general rates. Properties that will see a decrease in rates will not receive the full relief in the first year, but the new rating system will be phased in over the next few years.
Council will communicate with ratepayers that will be significantly impacted to advise of the change in basis of rating and encourage ratepayers facing hardship to enter into an agreed payment arrangement across the full financial year, which if adhered to, will see no fines or interest incurred.
Some other key decisions within the Draft Plan and Budget are:
- Increase in general rate revenue of 2.7%
- Operating deficit of $2.284M (down by $398k from 2020/21)
- $5.299M on capital works as per Asset Management Plans including playground equipment upgrades, road reseals, kerbing, paved footpaths, upgrade to Zerna Road heavy vehicle route, CWMS network pipe relining, and facilities upgrades.
- Commencement of update to Ryan Mitchell Swim Centre
- Over $180,000 support to community groups and events
- Indigenous Engagement Strategy activities
- Disability Access & Inclusion Plan activities
- Waste Management Strategy & Education Program
- Stage 2 of digital mapping of Stormwater systems
- CBD Master Plan
- Open Space Strategy review
- Implementation of new Planning Act & resulting processes
- Changes to Superannuation Guarantee legislation
John Banks the CEO of Port Augusta City Council stated “Council’s Annual Business Plan and Budget aims to maintain efficient and desired services and facilities for the community while continuing progress towards the long-term sustainability of the Council’s financial performance and position”.
“Elected Members encourage the community to read all of the material provided along with the Draft Business Plan and Budget to gather a better understanding of the rating system.” Mayor Brett Benbow stated.
Copies of the draft 2021/2022 Annual Business Plan & Budget are available for perusal at the Civic Centre’s front foyer and on Council’s website. Online submissions may be made through Council’s website https://www.portaugusta.sa.gov.au/enquiries/your-say. (via our ‘Your Say’ link). Written submissions may be submitted to Council, addressed to Chief Executive Officer, Port Augusta City Council, 4 Mackay Street (PO Box 1704), Port Augusta SA 5700 and must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 30th June 2021.
A community forum to present the draft Annual Business Plan & Budget will be held on Tuesday 15th June in the Council Chambers, 4 Mackay Street, Port Augusta at 5.30pm. Please contact Council on 86419144 to book a seat. Due to limited seating, the forum will be available via Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88443635859?pwd=WHhpQVQ1djNmZUVhOGJTSDlyeXFBQT09
Special Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 6th July 2021 from 6pm to receive submissions on the draft 2021/2022 Annual Business Plan
Members of the community who wish to make a verbal submission to Council must register their interest with Ms Lisa Leonard, Acting Executive Assistant on 86419144 by Wednesday 30th June 2021 to enable arrangements to be made.
Please note that details of submissions will be included in a report within Council’s public agenda and copies of all submissions will be provided to Elected Members for perusal.