Inverell Shire residents are encouraged to voice their thoughts about future council spending in relation to the 14.25 per cent special rates variation (SRV) sought by council.
The SRV is designed so Inverell Shire will financially meet the 2020 Fit for the Future benchmarks expected by the NSW Office of Local Government.
Residents have until February 1 to complete a survey to assess opinion on the special 14.25 per cent rate rise which will be introduced in addition to the 1.5 per cent 2017/18 rate peg set by the Independent and Pricing regulatory Tribunal for the 2017/18 financial year.
Inverell Shire council general manager Paul Henry said people should understand though Inverell was deemed fit after its 2015 submission to the Office of Local Government, the designation is provisional.
The survey is really just to to find out from the community what they value in terms of community assets.Inverell council general manager Paul Henry
Inverell Shire must prove its road map is sustainable by the June 30, 2020 deadline, or risk independent growth and development.
“Obviously council looks after things like roads, and garbage services, landfill sites, and that’s probably what people think of when they think of council, but we also have the likes of parks and Inverell Art Gallery, and the library and those sorts of services, even emergency services, like Rural Fire Services sheds and those sorts of things,” Mr Henry said.
“The survey is really just to to find out from the community what they value in terms of community assets.
“Should they be funded more than they are currently?” he asked.
“Should our level of service be better than it is right now? So, getting people to think of all those things in the community, and what’s important to them.”
Questions within the survey require respondents to rank statements such as: “I want local governments to deliver services that contribute to a healthier and fairer society”, and “I am prepared to pay more to get a broader range of services”.
Participants are asked to consider allocation of funding for assets from roads to the environment, sporting facilities, arts and cultural considerations.
People may elect through the survey to be part of a focus group on the SRV, chosen by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Council has also enlisted UTS to canvass opinion via telephone from the shire residents.
Residents have been posted copies of the survey. The surveys may be completed online at myinverellmysay.com.au, with a link to the survey at the bottom of the page. People may also use the kiosk at Inverell library to complete the survey or collect paper copies at the council building in Otho Street.
Information and fact sheets about council’s forward planning in relation to rates expenditure may be found on www.inverell.nsw.gov.au/your-council/rates-and-water/special-rate-variation.html.