In 2015 Clarence Valley Council (CVC) applied to IPART for approval for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) above rate pegging for 5 years commencing with the 2016/17 financial year.
Other than the inability of CVC to balance their budgets over many years the central issue in the application was the massive backlog in funding local roads and the Council pledged to devote all funds raised via the SRV to this issue and, obviously, provided IPART with road costing estimates to justify approval of the SRV.
However on 17 May 2016, the very day the IPART decision on the SRV was to be handed down, the CVC Mayor Richie Williamson was quoted on page 3 of the Daily Examiner, saying almost $200 million has been carved off the local roads funding shortfall since last year. Their 2015 figure of $224 million has now dropped to just $29 million. Obviously $200 million has not been spent…..it’s all been just an exercise in manipulation.
Local rate payers should feel dreadfully misled.
IPART should feel likewise.
IPART will now understand why many local people believe CVC is unfit for the present….let alone the future….
I trust that IPART will demand an apology from this Council and also reverse the approval granted to them to increase rates by 6.8 percent in 2016/17.