Flood levee upgrade one step closer after special rate variation approved

Published: 29 May 2018 3:53pm

Flood levee upgrade one step closer after special rate variation approved - 17 may 2016

  • Temporary special rate variation approved for 5.63%, from 1 July 2016, to be maintained for five years
  • Actual variation is 5.8% for all rateable properties except farmland, which is 3.7%. All figures include 1.8% rate peg
  • Levee upgrade component for average residential property in Wagga (land value $121,000) will be about $40 a year
  • Levee upgrade component for average farmland property in Wagga (land value $636,000) will be about $46 a year
  • Residents can check predicted variation on online rates calculator - wagga.nsw.gov.au/srv

The City of Wagga Wagga has today been approved for a temporary special rate variation of 5.63% to partly fund the $23.3M upgrade of the city’s flood levee system.

The determination made by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will allow Council to contribute its one-third share towards the levee upgrade project.

In assessing Council’s application, IPART determined that it met the criteria and the “impact of the proposed rate rises on ratepayers is modest and reasonable given the purpose of the special variation”.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga, Councillor Rod Kendall said this project, which will upgrade the Main City Levee to a 1 in 100 year level of protection and the North Wagga Levee to a 1 in 20 year level of protection, was vital for the city.

“The only way to protect Wagga Wagga’s CBD, critical assets and thousands of homes against flooding is to strengthen the levee system,” Councillor Kendall said.

“With a price tag of more than $23M, assistance is needed. This special rate variation will help Council raise it’s one-third, or $7.75M share, of the upgrade.

“We strongly hope today’s decision by IPART to allow Council to proceed with the special rate variation will be the catalyst for the State Government to commit funding in a timely manner to this vital project for the City of Wagga Wagga.”

IPART have granted Council approval for a temporary, one-off, rate variation to start in the 2016/17 financial year, and be maintained for five years.

Rates for all categories, except the Farmland category, will increase by 5.8%. The Farmland category will increase by 3.7%. The combined effect of these percentages equals the 5.63% overall increase.

These figures include the 1.8% rate peg for the 2016/17 year available to all Councils.

Director Corporate Services Craig Richardson said the special variation amount will differ for each rate payer depending on property valuation and will be separately shown on rate notices.

“For the average residential property in Wagga (land value $121,000) the levee upgrade component of their rates equates to about $40 a year. For the average Wagga business property (land value $447,000) it will be about $260 a year. For the average farmland property (land value $636,000) it will be about $46 a year,” Mr Richardson said.

“From July rate payers in the Wagga Wagga LGA will see their levee upgrade contribution as a separate line on their rates notice.

Residents wanting to forecast their contribution before they receive their notice can do so via Council’s online rate calculator.

“Extensive community consultation was carried out before Council made the special rate variation application in January. We would like to thank to community for their participation and questions throughout this process,” Mr Richardson said.

Any residents seeking further information or has questions on the special rate variation, or would like to access the on the special rate variation calculator should visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/srv or phone 1300 292 442.