MidCoast Special Rate Rise on Hold

MIDCOAST EXECUTIVE: Stephen Embry.
MIDCOAST EXECUTIVE: Stephen Embry.

Good news for MidCoast ratepayers with Council forced to put a special rate variation on hold.

If follows a decision by the Office of Local Government to rule out 2017/18 SRV applications for all new merged councils across New South Wales.

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Back in October and November of last year, MidCoast Council representatives held a series of community meetings across the region, explaining how $14 million dollars was needed to fund a roads and bridges program through a special rate variation.

Executive Stephen Embry addressed a meeting of more than a 100 locals in Tea Gardens explaining why ratepayers would be required to pay, on average, an extra $256 over the next four years.

The reaction was far from positive, with former Great Lakes Council residents pointing out that they were already paying at least $200 a year more than their counterparts in the Manning and Gloucester regions.

Following the recent Government decision, MidCoast Interim General Manager Glenn Handford said, “While it’s disappointing we’re unable to make an application at this stage, the merger has allowed us to identify other funding opportunities, through efficiencies and savings that will be dedicated to road renewal.”

MidCoast Council says it will also apply to the State Government to allocate $14million of the Stronger Communities funding towards the program for the area’s roads and bridges.

With assistance from asset experts, Morrison Low, Council said the condition of almost 50 percent of the sealed road network across the MidCoast region has been categorised as fair to very poor.

By Margie TIERNEY

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