RESIDENTS of the Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) still have time to have their say on a proposed rate increase.
LPSC is one of eight councils across NSW that has applied to IPART for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to increase their income from rates above the two per cent rate peg in 2021-22.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is accepting written submissions from the public until March 7, with submissions to be considered as part of their final determination.
LPSC is seeking to increase rates by up to 25.97 per cent over three years - a jump of almost eight per cent each financial year.
In its application , the council said it is applying for the SRV to improve and facilitate maintenance and increase capacity to renew deteriorating assets, and reduce its reliance on grant funding for asset renewals.
Mayor Doug Hawkins says it's crucial in order to "secure the shire's financial future".
The shire's financial position has continued to deteriorate, he said, due to factors such as "continuing price rises, maintenance costs, energy and telecommunications".
"Over the past few years we have gained $30-40 million in grants for major infrastructure projects," he said.
"Now, I want to finish those projects... we've gone five years with only a rate peg maintaining our current assets, now we will have more assets to maintain."
Councillors voted almost unanimously to push ahead with the controversial rate rise at the start of the month, after a period of community consultation.
The proposed increase has already caused a strong community reaction, with 175 submissions from the Liverpool Plains community made to IPART.
All applications will be determined by IPART by mid-May.
"Councils are required to demonstrate the need for the additional revenue, evidence of community consultation and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers," IPART Tribunal member Ms Deborah Cope said.
Other councils in NSW that have applied for a SRV are Armidale Regional, Central Coast, Tweet Shire, City of Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Cootamundra-Gundagai and Federation council.
Submissions from the public to IPART can be made here: https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/Home/Industries/Local-Government/Council-Portal/Submission-Form