The ESC just released their decisions of the rates variation applications submitted by a number of councils. They are:
9 out of 79 councils (11%) applied and 67% of applicants received approvals. This shows at least 89% of councils have the capacity to lower rates – if we include the 3 unsuccessful rate variation applications, the real figure is 73 councils or 92% can afford lower rates for their communities.
The full report of the rational decisions and underpinning reasons are found in Overview-of-Local-Government-higher-cap-decis…pdf (159kb) and there is the Q&A resource Approving higher caps – Questions and Answers.
We anticipate several councils and highly possibility peak bodies will be spilling “blood” in the street, with ESC the main target. If and when this behaviour reaction realises, then a lot will be revealed about and confirm the good governance culture of our councils and their peak bodies.
The decision report is rational, of high professional quality and based on very clear decision criteria that were well communicated upfront before the rates variation process commenced. Applicants also had many opportunities to consult with the ESC, to ensure their applications meet the criteria.