YOUR VOICE -YOUR CHOICE
How 'Fit' Are We Really?
Whilst Port Macquarie Hastings Council satisfies the criteria for sustainability based on its forecast figures, the truth is that these figures heavily rely on the successful application for adoption of a ‘Special Rate Rise’ of 52.4% over the next five years. This is 38.6% above the rate peg and includes the continuation of an existing levy of 4.4%. This planned rate rise is expected to net an estimated $91.5 million in additional rate income according to Council’s own submission to IPART.
In the General Manager's own report of 17th June 2015 it is evident that without the council rate rises Port Macquarie Hastings Council would NOT be considered financially fit for the future.
The report stated "In terms of future financial sustainability, it is clear that whilst Council can make some improvements (as outlined in the IAP) to improve its financial performance, financial modelling demonstrates that without additional revenue sourced from the community via SRV's, Council is unable to meet the benchmarks outlined in the FFF (Fit for the Future) program. Council's historic financial performance has shown recurring operating deficits and this will continue into the future without additional rates and charges revenue".
On the 17th June 2015 Mayor Besseling and seven other Councillors’ voted to go ahead with the General Manager’s rate rise recommendation, with only Councillor Roberts opposing the motion.
What is even more shocking than the intended rate rise and its approval by the Mayor and Councillors’ is that at the time of this decision they failed to consult with the community they serve.