At the meeting on June 21, Oberon Council approved a motion to increase the total rate income by 2.1% for the 2022-2023 financial year. This required an application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for special consideration and approval. IPART had issued a list of "pegged" rate rises based on such factors as population growth and increases in the costs of goods and labour and this set the suggested increase for Oberon at 0.7%. Approval from IPART for the increase was given in May this year.
The debate on the matter was quite divided. Several Councillors felt that any rate increase could cause hardship, particularly coming on the back of COVID and recent weather patterns and suggested that an increase could be avoided by efficiency gains across Council's activities. Others argued that an increase was needed to ensure that Council could continue to deliver the desired level of services across the LGA and that limiting or rejecting the increase would impact the long term ability to provide the things that ratepayers expect from Council. The final vote was equally divided, with the Mayor having the casting vote in favour of the motion.
The next matter on the agenda was a motion to increase the emoluments (what the rest of us call "payments") to Councillors. It was rejected unanimously.
Information about IPART and rate increases can be found here.
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