Prior to the previous Victorian State Election the question of capping of Municipal rate increases to no more than CPI became a differentiating factor between the major parties. Labor proposed a cap, the Liberal/National Coalition opposed it. Labor won and there is now a review being conducted by the Essential Services Commission.
An overview of the review process and can be found on their review website.
The first stage of consultation has completed and submissions on the discussion paper have closed (on May15). A report, summarising those comments, what has happened so far, and the next steps is now available.
The timeline for next steps is as follows:
|Draft Report release||July 2015||Consultation and public meetings during this period|
|Submissions to Draft Report close (one month after Draft Report is released)||August 2015|
|Final report is given to the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Finance||October 2015|
|Final report publicly released||November 2015|
In April 2015, Monash Council made a submission to the ESC Review opposing the cap.
Monash Council has been particularly cognisant of the impact of rate increases on ratepayers and proudly maintained the lowest rating status for several years. To maintain that position we have been striving to reduce costs and limit growth without reducing services. As a consequence we already run a very lean organisation, so it will be really difficult if we are squeezed even further.
Keep an eye on the Essential Services Commission page to keep up to date with what’s likely to happen. Remember the Draft Report is due out next month and there will be a period of consultation and public meetings. It’s not clear what changes the public may achieve during this “consultation” but you can be sure many Councils will be watching carefully to minimise the restrictions they may face.