The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has granted Ashfield Council a Special Rate Variation so council can maintain services and improve ageing infrastructure in the area.
Click here to read the determination issued by IPART.
Click here to read the Media Release issued by IPART.
Council lodged an application with IPART after ratepayers indicated during the ‘Your Say, Your Future’ consultation campaign that they wanted to see infrastructure improvements in the local area.
The decision means Council will be able to renew existing assets and to carry out essential works to the Ashfield Aquatic Centre, a key focus area identified in the Community Strategic Plan, Ashfield 2023.
The highly utilised Ashfield Aquatic Centre is in desperate need of a significant upgrade for it to remain functional into the future.
The centre will now get a new lease of life with a $14 million redevelopment. This will include an additional new 25 metre indoor pool, a new outdoor 50 metre pool, a new competition standard water-polo pool and a new grassed passive recreation area.
An additional $2.7 million per year will be spent renewing other infrastructure assets including $1 million for community buildings, $1.1 million for roads and footpaths,$500k for parks and $100k for drainage.
Ashfield Council has been working hard to maintain service standards and to carry out improvements to arrest any further deterioration of infrastructure assets.Over the past few years the community has been telling us they want to see more works undertaken to improve the local community. They want us to create a vibrant town centre, to improve the conditions of local streets and to upgrade our Aquatic Centre.
However, like many councils across the State, Ashfield faced the challenge of how to best maintain services and ageing infrastructure – the costs of which were rising faster than Council’s income was being generated.
The decision by IPART to grant a Special Rate Variation means Council will now be able to meet the community expectations and carry out these works to improve and maintain our important infrastructure and facilities without any impact on the level of services.
IPART approved percentage rate variation increases to be phased in over four years as follows, starting in July 2015.
Year 1 - 2015/16 - 7.5% increase (inclusive of 2.4% statewide increase)
Year 2 - 2016/17 - 8.2% increase (inclusive of estimated 3% statewide increase)
Year 3 - 2017/18 - 8.9% increase (inclusive of estimated 3% statewide increase)
Year 4 - 2018/19 - 9.3% increase (inclusive of estimated 3% statewide increase).
To assist Pensioners, Council will increase the pensioner rebate introduced in 2013 from $25 to $75. Pensioners will also be entitled to free entry to the Aquatic Centre.