We weren't required to consult on this year’s Annual Plan as there was nothing significantly different to the corresponding year outlined in our Long Term Plan (LTP) 2021-31. A consultation on the Long Term Plan was undertaken in 2021. Rates have increased by 9.7% (excluding the Disaster Recovery Rate), which in line with the rates increase cap for 2023/24 as set out in the LTP 2021-31.
The additional Disaster Recovery Rate of 2% did not need to be consulted on. This is because Council is able to set a new rate without community consultation if it’s needed to meet an unforeseen and urgent need and can’t be reasonably met any other way.
We will start engagement later this year on the 24-34 Long Term Plan, which will give the community lots of opportunities to provide feedback.
The total average household rates increase is $342 per year, or $6.59 per week. This includes the Disaster Recovery Rate, which amounts to $59 per household. Businesses also pay the Disaster Recovery Rate. Enter an address here to find out the rates in 2023/24 for a specific property.
Cyclone Gabrielle was an unprecedented weather event. The costs to the response and recovery that have come about from the cyclone cannot be adequately absorbed through Council’s existing budgets.
To address this, we've introduced a recovery budget of $1.5 million. This is funded by a 2% Disaster Recovery Rate (DRR) and is ring-fenced for cyclone recovery purposes. The DRR amounts to $59 per household and business.
This covers any gaps in insurance cover for asset damage, repair and replacement such as the Wastewater Treatment Plant. It’s a priority to repair and replace these assets so they are more resilient for future weather events. We'll also increase our stormwater network capacity so businesses can continue to operate and residents are safe from future flooding events.
The DRR also covers the cost of rates remissions or lost rates revenue as a result of the cyclone and funding an NCC Recovery Manager and an Emergency Management Officer to ensure we coordinate our recovery efforts with the Central Recovery Agency.
Although this rate wasn’t provided for in the Long Term Plan 2021-31, Council is able to set a new rate without community consultation if it’s needed to meet an unforeseen and urgent need and can’t be reasonably met any other way.
The DRR is in addition to the 9.7% rates increase, effectively making the overall rates increase 11.7%.
What is happening to projects that are no longer planned for 2023/24?
These have been moved to 2024/25, which is the first year of the Long Term Plan 2024-34. As we develop the next LTP, we will carefully consider all projects and their budgets again, to decide when each project is likely to begin in that planning cycle (2024-34). No projects or budgets have been cut, they have instead been held over to later years.
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