Sustainability behind rate rise

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Sustainability behind rate rise

The Robe District Council is looking to increase its rate revenue by 6.5% in the coming financial year.

It has invited public comment on its draft 2024/25 budget which runs to almost 80 pages.

General rates have been increased in line with Adelaide March 2024 Consumer Price Index upward move of 4.3%, plus growth in new rateable assessments of 1.2%, plus an additional increase of 1% to address operating deficits.

The rationale for the 6.5% increase is explained in the draft budget.

It noted there has been a recovery from administrative leadership instability which had resulted in latency in the review of asset management and long-term financial plans.

“Councils face higher cost increases due to high infrastructure costs and the capital-intensive nature of the goods and services purchased,” the report said.

“Fuel and electricity prices are large components of costs and are impacting significantly on budgets moving forward.

“There is a backlog of asset and infrastructure renewal and replacement, resulting in continued downward trajectory of Robe Council’s asset sustainability ratio.”

Robe Mayor Lisa Ruffell and chief executive Nat Traeger have commended the draft budget.

“It signifies a pivotal moment as we emerge from a period of leadership instability,” they said.

“It reflects our collective determination to move forward, embrace collaboration, to genuinely listen to our community and subsequently act upon their aspirations.

“This draft budget marks the first year of our new Strategic Plan 2024-2028, having recently engaged with our community to set and finalise our strategic direction for the next four years.

“In terms of fiscal management, we are committed to achieving a substantial improvement in our asset renewal results, which is underpinned by an ambitious capital works program.

“In total, we have budgeted $4.66m, with $4.41m for renewal and replacement and $248k for new/upgraded assets.

“This includes $1.36m for improvements to our road network and an additional $750k for the redevelopment of Robe Street.”

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