Port Stephens Special Rate Variation Now at IPART and Ratepayers can submit For or Against Rate Rise Proposal


PORT Stephens Council’s Special Rate Variation (SRV) has now been submitted to Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), New South Wales.

It is one of 13 Council’s across NSW that have applied for an SRV.

This is the formal process to seek approval for a Local Government Area-wide rate rise for base land rates.

Other charges associated with rates notices such as annual waste charges are not included in the SRV.

The purpose of IPART is to provide “independent regulatory decisions and advice to protect the ongoing interests of the consumers, taxpayers and citizens of NSW.”

For residents who are interested in submitting a submission to IPART, you can first view the Council’s Investing In Our Community information at:


The Notification of Intent sent to IPART by General Manager Mr Wayne Wallis states the purpose of the income that will be derived from the SRV, “Is to provide additional funds for a range of infrastructure projects including town centre and neighbourhood revitalisation, new and improved infrastructure such as roads, paths and cycle ways.”

“It also includes additional asset maintenance, enhanced community facilities and services to meet community expectations as outlined in our Community Strategic Plan.”

Councillor Mr Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area, “If anyone would like to provide comment on the rate increase to the independent tribunal, I encourage them to visit www.ipart.nsw.gov.au

“I am assured every submission is taken seriously.”

“There is also a ‘form’ submission available on Facebook that people can submit.”

“IPART has said that these sorts of submissions are counted on an individual basis and are just as valid as writing your own.”

“This is our last opportunity to stop this excessive, unnecessary rate rise.”

“Make you submission now, and definitely prior to 11 March, when submissions close.”

A statement on the Port Stephens Council’s website, promoting the benefits of an SRV reads, “Port Stephens Council is facing increased pressure to provide enhanced services and facilities to meet the high standards our community expects, and to continue to invest in our local area.”

Mr Bill Doran, an independent candidate standing for the seat of Port Stephens in the upcoming State election told News Of The Area in an interview, “The decision by those councillors to move against their supporters and community by applying for the SRV identifies a group of people who have never found themselves in true dire straits.”

Both major party candidates, current ALP sitting member Ms Kate Washington and the Liberal candidate Ms Jaimie Abbott have both previously indicated their opposition to an SRV.

Comment was sought from Mayor, Mr Ryan Palmer but none was forthcoming prior to going to print.



ONLINE POLL – See the News Of The Area Online Poll on the matter. Please complete and have a look at the results. The News Of The Area’s online poll in no way substitutes making your formal submission to IPART, one way or the other.


By Heather SHARP

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