Glenorchy City Council held a budget briefing session for the community on Tuesday 19 June 2018. The presentation attracted over 200 people with a lively question and answer session at the end.
Mayor Kristie Johnston and General Manager Tony McMullen announced a rate increase of 12.5 per cent for the 2018/19 financial year which was ultimately adopted at Council's meeting on Monday 25 June 2018.
Mayor Johnston said Independent analysis from the Auditor-General’s office shows Glenorchy City Council’s average rate per rateable property is the lowest of Tasmanian cities including Devonport and Burnie. Even after the proposed rate revenue increase Glenorchy would still remain the lowest.
Mayor Johnston said the increase was much better than the Council initially thought with prospective figures in the high teens.
“We have worked extremely collaboratively and hard to get the figure down as far as we possibly can. The impact in monetary terms for ratepayers will be between $1.94 and $4.35 per week or if we are looking at the annual impact, it equates to between $100.69 and $226.40,” she said.
“Even with this increase, our Council still remains as one of the most affordable municipalities to live in, in regards to rates. Our average rate per rateable property has been below the average forTasmanian cities and indeed we are below many of the rural areas such as Devonport and Burnie.
“We understand the impacts on households though and have looked at options of increasing rates instalments from two per year to four. This would take effect in the 2019/20 budget.
“This Council has been through trauma over the last few years and now it’s our opportunity to get us back on a more sustainable financial footing and look at our revenue and expenditure in a more financially responsible manner.
“We instructed Council officers to investigate revenue and expenditure measures and both the general manager and I have held discussions with the State Government to explore potential assistance.
“Our waste management charges and review of our leases and licences will bring us in over $200,000 in additional revenue with cost cutting such as deletion of a manager position in the organisation structure, natural attrition of eight staff positions that will not be filled and shutting down of the Derwent Park Storm water harvesting plant. These are only a few of the options we have looked at and more options are being discussed for the future.
“Some of our cash saving measures included negotiations regarding the Board of Inquiry repayments which will now be spread over three years and using one million in disaster relief funding to reduce our capital program to do three million dollars in storm damage works.
General Manager Tony McMullen said some of the capital expenditure highlights for the next financial year have a focus on road infrastructure and flood damage repair.
“Drainage upgrades are another significant factor in the budget and we will also be focusing on consolidating and delivering key projects for the community,” he said.
“Some of these projects include an extension to the Prince of Wales sportsground, a pontoon in Montrose Bay, along with replacement of the toilets and Tolosa Park remediation of the reservoir.
“We have busy and more frugal times ahead but this will see our Council work towards a more sustainable financial future.
A session was held for the community to hear information on the draft budget and proposed rate increase. View the recording here.
Agendas and minutes can be found here.