Rates likely to rise in split

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

QUEENS­LAND’S More­ton Bay Re­gional Coun­cil com­mis­sioned an independent anal­y­sis of ratepayer im­pacts for the de-amal­ga­ma­tion in March due to re­quests by the Red­cliffe com­mu­nity.

The former Red­cliffe City Coun­cil area from More­ton Bay Re­gional Coun­cil con­trib­uted 18 per cent of rates and any cor­re­spond­ing re­duc­tion in rates rev­enue due to de-amal­ga­ma­tion would not cor­re­spond to an equiv­a­lent re­duc­tion in op­er­at­ing costs, the anal­y­sis by RION Con­sult­ing Net­work con­cluded.

On­go­ing coun­cil­lor and staff costs were likely to be sig­nif­i­cantly higher than pre-amal­ga­ma­tion for the RCC due to re­mu­ner­a­tion re­quire­ments spec­i­fied by the Lo­cal Govern­ment Re­mu­ner­a­tion and Dis­ci­plinary Tri­bunal.

The new RCC would also need to com­mit $46 mil­lion of a planned $105 mil­lion over six years to­wards an ap­proved Red­cliffe Rail Link.

The re­port found that due to its size, the cur­rent MBRC has in­creased ca­pac­ity avail­able for dis­cre­tionary projects rel­a­tive to the three former coun­cils, which was par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant for the former RCC as it had the small­est rates base of the three amal­ga­mated coun­cils.

The re­port found that in or­der to fund the es­ti­mated one-off, on­go­ing and pro­jected costs out­lined, the new RCC would need to im­pose an im­me­di­ate rate in­crease of be­tween 37 per cent and 56 per cent fol­low­ing de-amal­ga­ma­tion.

“Fail­ure to do this would se­verely im­pact on the long-term fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity of the NRCC,” the re­port stated.

“In re­la­tion to on­go­ing costs, amal­ga­mat­ing coun­cils usu­ally have the ad­van­tage of medium to long-term oper­a­tional sav­ings once the up-front costs have been in­curred.

“How­ever, in the case of a de-amal­ga­ma­tion these ben­e­fits do not ex­ist.”

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