Rates Consultation

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Consultation has concluded. Please see the Timeline and Next Steps segment on the right-hand side of the page for progress on this project.


Lismore City Council would like to thank those people who have responded to the Lismore rates consultation since it opened on 1 August.

Your feedback is valuable and there have been some great comments, suggestions and questions.

We have listened to this feedback and developed a new rates proposal for the community to consider.

In our round one consultation, we asked you to consider a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV) that would apply to all Lismore ratepayers. This included a year one increase of 17% and a year two increase of 6.9%.

Your feedback told us that the year one increase was higher than expected.

We have listened to this feedback and developed a new proposal with smaller annual increases spread over a greater number of years.

In this new round of consultation, residents and ratepayers have three possible options to consider.

We need to know, what is your preference?

Your answers and feedback will help Lismore City Council make an informed decision.

All feedback from round one and round two of the consultation will be provided to Council at its 12 November meeting where a decision on whether to make an application to IPART for an SRV will be made.

The round two rates consultation is open for community feedback until 30 September.

  • Complete the Round 2 Survey.
  • Register for the community workshop.
  • Attend an Information Kiosk and talk to staff face-to-face.
  • Ask a question in our online Q&A.


Lismore City Council would like to thank those people who have responded to the Lismore rates consultation since it opened on 1 August.

Your feedback is valuable and there have been some great comments, suggestions and questions.

We have listened to this feedback and developed a new rates proposal for the community to consider.

In our round one consultation, we asked you to consider a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV) that would apply to all Lismore ratepayers. This included a year one increase of 17% and a year two increase of 6.9%.

Your feedback told us that the year one increase was higher than expected.

We have listened to this feedback and developed a new proposal with smaller annual increases spread over a greater number of years.

In this new round of consultation, residents and ratepayers have three possible options to consider.

We need to know, what is your preference?

Your answers and feedback will help Lismore City Council make an informed decision.

All feedback from round one and round two of the consultation will be provided to Council at its 12 November meeting where a decision on whether to make an application to IPART for an SRV will be made.

The round two rates consultation is open for community feedback until 30 September.

  • Complete the Round 2 Survey.
  • Register for the community workshop.
  • Attend an Information Kiosk and talk to staff face-to-face.
  • Ask a question in our online Q&A.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    So on spending the extra money you hope to get how many Civil Engineers (Bachellor of Engineering - majoring in civil envineering), does council employ and how does this compare with the state average per $ expenditure?

    Graeme Wilson asked 10 months ago

    Council employs a number of people in the road design and construction with varying qualifications and expertise, and it would take some time to compile the information you are seeking. Your request for data on employed engineers compared with the state average per $ expenditure is also not readily available, and unfortunately Council does not have the resources to respond to your specific questions at this time.


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    I rent. Rent - the cheapest in Lismore I could find ($225pw) - consumes half of my disability support pension. Any proposed rate increase will simply be passed on to the renter ... forcing those who simple can't afford the increase to become homeless. The current wait time for public housing in the Lismore area is 20 years. I have been on the list for over 8 years. Lismore Council's proposed rate increase is excessive to the nth degree to those who rent and can least afford any increase ... confirming the utter bastardy of Lismore Council and their total lack of empathy for the least well off in our society. What ... if anything ... is Lismore Council going to do to address the increased unaffordability of housing due to any rate increase?

    Azan Mann asked 10 months ago

    We are acutely aware of the affordable housing shortage Lismore faces and Council is currently implementing strategies outlined in the Lismore Housing Strategy 2012.

    The decision to apply for a Special Rate Variation or implement further strategies to improve housing affordability are decisions made by the Council as a whole. You may discuss and lobby your Councillors on these issues at any time should you wish to raise a specific issue with them or see policy action. Their contact details can be found at www.lismore.nsw.gov.au

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    This is a serious enquiry, in spite of TV show ref. Please explain, item by item in detail & common language, the following that are found in LCC reply below that could be termed as "Yes Minister script" -SVR -$6.1 million cash deficit -a number of measures including -zero based budget -asset rationalisation strategy -have been implemented -additional ongoing funding of $4.5 million -to fix the roads -$1.6 million to stimulate economic development -in the Lismore local government area -The community is not being asked to pay for the cash deficit - mitigate the ongoing impact

    David UNDERWOOD asked 10 months ago

    With regards to the $6.1 million cash deficit for the year reported to the Council’s 26 February 2019 meeting, the following actions have been taken to minimise this having an ongoing negative impact including:-

    • the 2019/20 Budget was prepared on a zero based budget basis. This required all section to substantiate all expenses and revenues. This will result in managers having a clear understanding of the budget and associated expectations.
    • the development and implementation of an asset rationalisation strategy. The objective of this strategy is to assess opportunities to divest or invest differently in Council’s assets.
    • implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling;
    • improving of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas;
    • reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.
    • the cancellation or deferral 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.
    • undertaking internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.
    • investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.
    • pursuing State and Federal Governments for a greater share of available grants.

    The Special Rate Variation is not one of the actions taken to minimise the ongoing negative impact of the cash deficit.

    The purpose of the Special Rate Variation is specially to provide additional ongoing funding to fix the roads and  stimulate economic development in the Lismore local government area. In summary, if a Special Rate Variation option was approved by IPART, the result would be:

    • Roads across the Lismore Local Government would improve with an additional sealed roads reconstructed each year.
    • This would significantly improve the road network as funds are progressively diverted from pothole repairs and maintenance to reconstructing and resurfacing roads.
    • Significant improvements would be made to the gravel road network including re-sheeting of failed gravel roads, culvert upgrades and replacements, and sealing intersections where gravel and bitumen meet.
    • Economic development initiatives would be funded that help attract new development and investors to Lismore, Nimbin and the greater region.
    • Lismore’s streetscape and CBD would be improved with better infrastructure such as lighting and street furniture as well as more events, activities and attractions.
    • Nimbin and villages would be provided with support to activate town centres and improve safety.
    • New businesses and tourism would be promoted to stimulate the economy and increase jobs.

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    Why is Lismore council asking for a Rate rise when most of their achievements are second or third rate. No wonder everything cost LCC more, it is much easier to the job once and well. Other question: what’s in it for surrounding villages, we don’t care much about Lismore cbd

    Samuel Herren asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback to our engagement process and sharing your perspective. 

    Economic development initiatives will support the entire local government area including villages, as it provides for business and industry growth that increases jobs for the entire community to benefit.


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    How can the ratepayers have any confidence in Lismore Council undertaking any of the works they propose and coming in on budget or under it, regardless of the proposed rate increase? Council has squandered the rates they have received consistently, the quality of work undertaken has been second rate as far as road repairs go, and the top heavy workforce within council is a drain on ratepayers money. There has been no consultation with the ratepayers concerning how their money is spent. Art works in the streets are not aiding in fixing roads or infrastructure. Can council put a figure on how much tourist income comes into the area yearly? Does council think that by erecting expensive artworks that Lismore will attract tourists? It seems obvious that the current council's approach has been unreal to say the least. Why was there a back hole of a supposed 6.1 million? Why was another black hole found shortly after this one was found? Does the council need a new abacus? In reality if the council was in the private sector, they would not survive as a business. Does the council think that they should rob Peter to pay Paul? Essentially this is what the Council is doing, Council is willing to create more financial hardship on ratepayers to sustain an ideology that is totally unsustainable. Is Council employed by the people? The ratepayers pay the salaries and wages, yet have little or no say in how the finances are utilized. Does Council recognise that ratepayers create a job and therefor an existence for Council employees? We ask for a fair and equitable situation from council, not a choice as to how much more Council wants us to pay for the right to live on the property we own or are working hard to pay for. Does Council recognise the constant rise in the cost of living? Does Council recognise the fiscal pressure they are placing on people within this environmental and economic situation we all find ourselves in? There has to be a humane understanding within the want for economic structure, ratepayers don't want to feel burdened by the people they employ, I reiterate that if Council was a business in the private sector, they would be bankrupt. It's easy to spend someone else's money, it's very important for the ratepayer that the monies are spent in realistic and beneficial ways.

    Jeremy Shand asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback to our engagement process and sharing your perspective. 

    Council is required to spend the SRV funds only on what Council has written in its application to IPART. Council will inform the community in its Annual Report each year about the activities undertaken with SRV funds. This ensures that the community has confidence about how the funds are spent.

    As detailed in the frequently asked questions - 

    Does Council's recent budget deficit have anything to do with this SRV?

    No. At its budget meeting on 25 June 2019, Lismore City Council forecast a cash surplus of $957,400 – turning around the cash deficit that was discovered in January 2019.
    Council made cuts across almost all areas of Council to resolve the cash deficit problem. However, this did not provide a solution for the long-term delivery of services. Council is still financially vulnerable.
    The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide its current services without increased revenue. This is why Council is proposing an SRV.





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    In regards to the rates charged there are many other rate amounts listed on the rates notice. Although our base amount of $1129 ( plus $405 base amount for us) is spoken about it’s all the other charges that inflate our annual rates to $2876 pa. By anyone’s standards this is a lot of money to find each year to own a house in Lismore. I can’t help but wonder if there will be further increases to these charges too and all the debate about a SRV (which should not be levied on an ongoing basis in my opinion and should be a one off emergency levy only) will mask the additional increases to the “other” rating types and residents will have to find even more money than advertised as a SRV. Can you please advise if there will be additional increases to these charges as well as a means for the council to recover more money from residents? Also, I’m reading a lot of “gonna do” statements in Councils responses. Can you also explain to the residents the monitoring processes and who will be monitoring and auditing council to make sure that the steps and changes that are clearly needed to improve efficiency are actually done. I have no faith in “trust me” statements and internal supervision of cost cutting activities as they can, at times, lack transparency. Thank you for your time.

    NeilW asked 10 months ago

    All rates and charges are set by the Council on an annual basis. They are advertised in the annual operational plan for 28 days starting in May. Public submissions are invited and the Council meets in June to consider any submission prior to determine the rates and charges for the next year.

    While the rate increase is based on the rate peg percentages approved by IPART, charges are generally increased by the rate peg percentage, consumer price index or on a full cost recovery basis. 


    Council established an Audit Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) in December 2018.  The Charter for this Committee, including the functions they keep under review on behalf of Council are attached for your information. 

    The Office of Local Government (OLG) has announced that these Committees will be mandated from 2021, following changes to the Local Government Act in 2016.  Councils have been eagerly awaiting guidance on how these Committees might work from 2021 and two weeks ago we received draft guidelines for feedback, which I have copied here for your information.  

    Our current committee has been established on principles of current best practice, with a view to moving to the new guidelines once they have been finalised.  Currently our Committee comprises of 3 independent members and 2 Councillors.  Also in attendance at Committee meetings are Councils external auditor, TNR and the NSW Audit Office.  The external auditor is appointed to Council by the NSW Audit Office who are responsible for auditing the performance of Local Government on behalf of the NSW Government.  This includes independent audits of Councils financial statements.

    Additionally, the Committee directs (and has reporting to it) an Internal Auditor.  Council appointed Grant Thornton as Internal Auditor in June 2019 and their role is to conduct reviews on important parts of Councils operations (such as procurement, financial controls etc) and report findings, recommendations and agreed management actions directly to the Committee.  

    Further information on how the Committee interacts with the business and Council to ensure independence is included in the Charter.

    Council staff conducted an extensive search to fill the independent positions of this Committee.  We were fortunate to secure 3 very high calibre professionals with significant board level experience and/or exposure in corporate governance, finance, audit, Local Government and business improvement.  Councillors Cook and Guise are the representatives of the elected body.



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    I already pay high rates in lismore i do not need rate raise disability pension is not going up

    catherine wunsch asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback to our engagement process and sharing your perspective. 

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    This week our pension will increase by 0.80 % and we are earning 0.75 % interest from our bank. Our council wants to increase our annual rates by 6.9 % because they cannot keep their house in order. There has to be something very, very wrong with the way this council operates. It seems to have excuses for everything – we’re constantly being told there are so many pot holes because it rains so much, they keep using this as an excuse but we have not had any decent rain for over two months. However, every time we go into town there are more. On the 2nd Sept I rang council to report some very dangerous pot holes on Dunoon Road, explaining to the council officer you had to cross the double white lines and move to the other side of the road to avoid them. There is a genuine potential for a fatal crash if there is anything coming in the opposite direction. Nearly four weeks have passed and they have not been attended to . Other pot holes further towards Modanville have been attended to, it would appear council staff have driven straight past the ones I reported to attend to those further on. Work that one out! Council is almost boasting that they fill seventy pot holes a day,They should be ashamed to admit this surely in the year 2019 there must be a way to repair a pot hole that stays fixed. In 2005 we retired from Sydney and built in Modanville, not once in the last fourteen years have we driven into town and admired the scenery along the way as we have to keep looking out for the pot holes (many thanks to the person with the spray paint, it makes our job a lot easier). We do not go out at night as we cannot see them, sad isn’t it !!! I would like to think one day before I die we can drive into town and not worry about being on the lookout for pot holes, I don’t think it will happen, that’s sad too. Last December we had some friends visit from England who are into art so we took them along to our new art gallery. I may be wrong but I believe council contributed $1.5 mil. We left embarrassed. They had black and white photos of a Sydney suburb – Blacktown. I am not against art galleries as long as I can drive on a safe road to get there. We then went for a walk around town, passing the people smoking beneath the no smoking signs, dodging the push bikes, scooters and skate boards on the footpaths. We did have rangers patrolling but we have not seen them for months, where are they ??? To escape the perils of the foot path we went to the koala sanctuary where we all had a very good time. LOCAL MATTERS - can someone please tell me how much these cost to produce and how many are distributed each fortnight ?? I am sorry to advise some people in our area do not even read them and they are consigned straight to the recyclers from the letter box. I now subscribe and get an email which I believe is an excellent way to be kept informed but I still get the hard copy in the letter box, I don’t know what council can do, but surely in their present form they are an unnecessary expense. WOODLARK STREET BOAT - another unnecessary expense/saga and an embarrassment. One would hope the person that signed off on this is no longer with council. ROAD AHEAD SIGNS - I appreciate perhaps the costs here would be minimal but again it is another example of wastage, if you cannot see there is a road ahead at the end of a footpath, you have a problem, as my mum used to say, look after your pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. ROUNDABOUTS - the size of new roundabouts being built are ridiculous. Can someone explain why do they have to be so large. Cars have enough trouble getting around them, buses and trucks just drive straight over them. So much concrete what a waste, many roundabouts in the United Kingdom simply have a small circle painted in the middle of the road with directional arrows painted on the outer edges, seems to work quite ok. FOOT PATH - I note there has been the complete replacement of the foot path on Rotary Drive. Can someone please advise me of the cost. I travel this road regularly and seldom see anybody using the foot path, why did it need replacing ?? Finally, in your brochure “Have Your Say”, council advises without the rate increase council cannot continue to provide its current level of services. I find this statement to be most threatening and in extremely bad taste.

    charles robinson asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our engagement process and sharing your perspective. 

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    Why is LCC in the position to be asking this question?? Rates should NOT be increased, but look at other cost cutting measures, eg decrease the number of environmental positions on council compared with other positions. Unfortunately we are being run by those who prefer all the green options which cost us and animals dearly (just remember the recent bush fires). How short sighted are these people to think that not back burning will be a benefit. What about the poor animals/bird life?

    Ken and Rhonda Baker asked 10 months ago

    Thankyou for your feedback.

    We acknowledge your concerns about any increases in your rates.  This consultation is about our ability to continue into the future to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.


    With regards to improving financial management and efficiency, the Council has taken these steps;

    •  In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.

    •  During the 2019/20 budget process, Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.

    •  Council is undergoing internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.

    •  Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.


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    Can you explain to me why rate payers are been coerced into footing the bill for council's mismanagement of funds? It is not our fault that council has found itself in a large deficit so it should not be out job to pay more to get council out of its self inflicted hole. It seems the campaign for rate increases uses fear mongering that no rate increases will lead to calamities on road works and businesses but maybe council can explain what it is doing internally (and I mean a specific non generic answer please) to address its self made budget predicament? Rather than trying to scare us into agreeing to a somewhat ridiculous 25% rate increase. Thanks

    Andrew ngeh asked 10 months ago

    As detailed in the FAQ's on the Your Say Lismore - 

    Does Council's recent budget deficit have anything to do with this SRV?

    No. At its budget meeting on 25 June 2019, Lismore City Council forecast a cash surplus of $957,400 – turning around the cash deficit that was discovered in January 2019.
    Council made cuts across almost all areas of Council to resolve the cash deficit problem. However, this did not provide a solution for the long-term delivery of services. Council is still financially vulnerable.
    The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide its current services without increased revenue. This is why Council is proposing an SRV.


    Additional SRV funds would be used for Economic Development activities:

    • Fund initiatives arising from the new Lismore Economic Development Strategy.
    • Council has recently conducted community consultation in Lismore, Nimbin and our rural areas to develop this strategy.
    • Improve Lismore CBD infrastructure and streetscaping. Increase activity in the Lismore CBD at night to create a vibrant and safe city centre after dark.
    • Improve Lismore CBD lighting and host activities such as pop-up events, buskers and  markets.
    • Provide support to Nimbin and villages to activate town centres with initiatives such as improved lighting and safety. Projects would be developed in close consultation with those communities to address specific needs.
    • Fund an incentive program to encourage new businesses to establish in Lismore.
    • Support the growth of new industries and help expand our existing business and industry sectors. We would help develop precincts where businesses could co-locate, making Lismore the regional centre for those services. We would develop our health precinct, professional services sector and agricultural industries as well as grow our aviation, education and training, culture, and sport and recreation sectors.
    • Fund programs that stimulate and grow tourism – encourage new tourism developments throughout the region.
    • Introduce telecommunications infrastructure such as free Wi-Fi in the Lismore CBD.
    • Improve cultural infrastructure such as our performing arts spaces.
    • Cut unnecessary red tape and streamline the processes that aid the establishment of new businesses and encourage development.

    Sealed Roads

    Additional SRV funding would be used to reconstruct roads that are in very poor condition. Roads would be reconstructed and then regularly resurfaced so they stay in good condition for as long as possible. Over a 10-year period, additional SRV funds would see the road network improve right across the Local Government Area. 

    SRV Option 2 would enable us to reconstruct an additional 2.75km of sealed roads each year. It would provide $32 million over 10 years to address the roadworks backlog of $65 million (reported in 2017/18) that currently exists.
    SRV Option 3 would enable us to reconstruct an additional 3.4km of sealed roads each year. It would provide $40 million over 10 years to address the roadworks backlog of $65 million (reported in 2017/18) that currently exists.

    • In a nutshell, an SRV would ensure:
    • A greater number of roads in good condition, meaning less potholes and other failures.
    • A greater number of roads in good condition, resulting in more funding being available for planned maintenance and upgrades, and less money being spent on patching and repairing failed roads.
    • Roads would be reconstructed and receive ongoing resurfacing to stand the test of time.
    • Only a small percentage of roads would be in a very poor condition at any one time.
    • The average condition of the entire road network would improve.
    Gravel Roads
    Both of the proposed SRV options would deliver $500,000 annually to improve gravel roads. We would be able to complete the following works in addition to our ongoing grading program every year:
    • 10km of gravel re-sheets
    • Four culvert/causeway extensions or upgrades
    • Bitumen seal on three gravel road intersections
    At present, Council does not have funds for any gravel re-sheeting. Re-sheeting involves placing new gravel on the road and reshaping and rolling to decrease potholes and surface defects, and improve wet weather access. It also reduces dust volumes and provides a smoother driving experience

    Council maintains 400km of gravel roads. Over a 10-year period, the proposed SRV would see 100km or 25% of the entire gravel road network re-sheeted. Thirty gravel intersections would be bitumen sealed across the LGA and 40 culverts would be upgraded, reducing the wear and tear around these sections of road. Council would also continue its ongoing grading program.


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    I think all rate payers should exercise people power by refusing to pay any increased rates since this survey is clearly biased and the answers given to past questions are generic, hollow and somewhat patronising. Stop copy and pasting and write actual responses!

    Andrew ngeh asked 10 months ago

    Thankyou for your feedback.


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    As a Small Business owner and Resident in Lismore, I have to tell you that I'm quite alarmed by what I'm observing in connection with this push for a Special Rate Variation. People like me will, in effect, be slugged twice – and the whole thing, I feel, bodes badly for business, especially in the CBD. I rent the business premises that I operate from in the CBD. My landlord has made the point that having the highest rates around, means he must pass that SRV increase on to me. I'm not a large business and have a fragile financial structure. The anticipated rise through the SRV would certainly have to be passed on to me. The result at this stage, would mean I would have to close down. Even moving somewhere else is not an option. Contrary to the PR stories circulating – businesses are closing at a steady rate. With the added financial burden of a SRV, this could increase to a 'stampede' ! In addition, I am a landowner and ratepayer here in Lismore. One of the reasons that my business position is so fragile, is that I would be facing a large increase at home also, with this SRV. I am certainly not the only one to be affected by this 'domino effect'. If Local Council truly wants to assist Business in the CBD and surrounds, it should be backing away from this measure at speed. We all have budgets to work to – Council needs to operate within it's financial restrictions and not go 'cap in hand' each time, to the very people who can least afford to give. For these reasons, I am urging you to persuade your colleagues to vote down this measure and find a way to operate within a strict budget – like the rest of us.

    Robert McIntyre asked 10 months ago

    Thankyou for your question.

    For your information, at the meeting of 13 August 2019, Council voted (RESOLVED) to:

    1.  Council host a workshop on Tuesday, 1 October 2019 to investigate a new Council Rating Structure or other feasible measures to reduce the Business Rate – Inner CBD.

    2.  Council determine and adopt measures to reduce the Business Rate – Inner CBD by 1 July 2020.

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    Has an independent audit of the CBD Promotion levy been undertaken to see why it has failed? How has Council determined how much money it now needs to revitalized the CBD?

    Graeme Wilson asked 10 months ago

    LCC is about to launch an evaluation of the effectiveness of the marketing, placemaking and event promotions that have been funded by the CBD SRV on Tuesday 1st of October.  The evaluation will be in the form of an on line survey to gain an appreciation of how the business owners rate the success of programs and to identify other projects to be undertaken in the CBD.  Once the results from the survey have been collated, LCC will host a series of workshops to further refine how to effectively deliver marketing, placemaking and events to best meet the business needs.  The results of this evaluation will be used to create a business plan to direct how funds will be allocated in the future to best meet the needs of the CBD businesses.  An additional independent report has been commissioned by the LCC to identify what needs to be done to revitalise the CBD and is in the process of being finalised.  The state government has made an election promise of $1.5 million to support the recommendations, however it is unclear at this stage how the state will release the funds to support the identified projects from this report.  The CBD revitalisation report will be finalised by the end of October 2019.


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    That survey seemed very weighted and bias towards manipulating rate payers into taking responsibilty for Lismore's dire economic future if we do not support the increase. We already pay high rates compared to other council hours. Can you tell me what the council is doing internally to take responsibilty for the economic mismanagement of our council's budget (aside from threatening to cut services)?

    Kath Ngeh asked 10 months ago

    Lismore is a regional city and has a total population of 43,843 – the second largest population in the region after Tweed Shire.

    Council provides the necessary services and infrastructure to support a regional city. With major public and private hospitals, tertiary education services, a regional airport, retail services and large sporting and cultural events, Lismore is a place of work for thousands of daily visitors and a destination for thousands of tourists each year.

    Comparing our rates with that of other councils does not necessarily provide a relevant comparison, as we are a regional city and as such provide more services than other Northern Rivers towns.

    The additional income generated by this proposed SRV would place Council’s rating structure in line with that of other regional cities in NSW. The table below shows how Lismore measures up against other regional cities

    Regional Cities Rating Comparison

    Council

    Average Residential Rate

    Average Business Rate

    Population

    Lismore City Council

    $1,254

    $5,004

    43,843

    Albury City Council

    $1,317

    $6,209

    53,767

    Orange City Council

    $1,408

    $5,995

    42,056

    Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

    $1,188

    $3,842

    83,131


    With regards to improving financial management and efficiency, the Council has taken these steps;

    •  In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.

    •  During the 2019/20 budget process, Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.

    •  Council is undergoing internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.

    •  Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.


    Additionally

    Council established an Audit Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) in December 2018.  The Charter for this Committee, including the functions they keep under review on behalf of Council are attached for your information. 

    The Office of Local Government (OLG) has announced that these Committees will be mandated from 2021, following changes to the Local Government Act in 2016.  Councils have been eagerly awaiting guidance on how these Committees might work from 2021 and two weeks ago we received draft guidelines for feedback, which I have copied here for your information.  

    Our current committee has been established on principles of current best practice, with a view to moving to the new guidelines once they have been finalised.  Currently our Committee comprises of 3 independent members and 2 Councillors.  Also in attendance at Committee meetings are Councils external auditor, TNR and the NSW Audit Office.  The external auditor is appointed to Council by the NSW Audit Office who are responsible for auditing the performance of Local Government on behalf of the NSW Government.  This includes independent audits of Councils financial statements.

    Additionally, the Committee directs (and has reporting to it) an Internal Auditor.  Council appointed Grant Thornton as Internal Auditor in June 2019 and their role is to conduct reviews on important parts of Councils operations (such as procurement, financial controls etc) and report findings, recommendations and agreed management actions directly to the Committee.  



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    This is not a fair survey as there were no opportunities for comments or options other than those generated by the Council. This is a very specific survey for the Council to achieve the result they want, but not necessarily what the ratepayers want. There were no questions on where current ratepayers funding is going, eg does Lismore Swans pay for the upkeep of Oakes Oval? Why are no other sporting bodies allowed to use Oakes Oval? Why is LCC supporting and providing for the 'minority' groups instead of looking at the broader picture for the whole of Lismore, eg the rainbow crossing? RATEPAYERS are the basic providers for LCC, but the Council abuses them by giving the minority groups preference. What about Lismore City Hall.....Why is the Council providing such high subsidies when the 'little person' such as Lismore Musical Eisteddfod has to pay $2,400+ per day to hire the hall? Why are there so many roundabouts filled with weeds, dirty, etc when Lismore wanted roundabouts. Lismore has outgrown roundabouts and needs lights for the movement of traffic.....when will LCC wake up to that? LCC says we are a 'çity;', what other city has pedestrians governing the traffic in Woodlark Street and holding up traffic to over the double bridges? LCC is NOT a city, just compare with say Dubbo, etc and others where there are traffic lights. Move on, we are past being the 'roundabout town'! Why is there 2 lanes to 1 to cross over Hollingsworth Creek??? Should have been 2 lanes years ago with the left lane turning left or straight ahead - this is now a problem at any time of the day and any day of the week. I believe there was state funding for the extra lane over Hollingsworth Creek years ago. What happened? Wake up LCC you need to serve the ratepayers, not the minority groups you seem to lean towards. We are fed up with paying rates to get little return....what do we get in South Lismore??

    Ken and Rhonda Baker asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    We acknowledge your concerns about any increases in your rates.  This consultation is about our ability to continue into the future to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions.  This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.  Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer.  We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

    Lismore is a regional city and has a total population of 43,843 – the second largest population in the region after Tweed Shire.

    Council provides the necessary services and infrastructure to support a regional city. With major public and private hospitals, tertiary education services, a regional airport, retail services and large sporting and cultural events, Lismore is a place of work for thousands of daily visitors and a destination for thousands of tourists each year.

    Comparing our rates with that of other councils does not necessarily provide a relevant comparison, as we are a regional city and as such provide more services than other Northern Rivers towns.

    The additional income generated by this proposed SRV would place Council’s rating structure in line with that of other regional cities in NSW. The table below shows how Lismore measures up against other regional cities

    Regional Cities Rating Comparison

    Council

    Average Residential Rate

    Average Business Rate

    Population

    Lismore City Council

    $1,254

    $5,004

    43,843

    Albury City Council

    $1,317

    $6,209

    53,767

    Orange City Council

    $1,408

    $5,995

    42,056

    Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

    $1,188

    $3,842

    83,131

    Thank you once again.


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    No doubt a repeat question.. Please explain why the majority of other Councils in NSW manage to maintain their roads to a far better standard than Lismore without a SRV? Even Richmond Valley Council has far better roads and their budget is a fraction of Lismore’s budget. It seems mismanagement of funds and poor decision making by Lismore Council is to blame. Far too much money is wasted on art such as copper pipe boat, rainbow crossing and I am sure far more. Not everyone is Lismore area is into Art.. I am into motocross and there is not a motocross track in Lismore. Please stop catering for the minority. Almost everyone in the Lismore area uses roads. Redirect the funds to where they need to be spent

    Grant Burns asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. You can be assured we are working on addressing our road maintenance and long term financial strategies in response to consistent community feedback we have received during our consultation processes, and appreciate you sharing your perspective as part of that process.


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    We already pay $3,771 rates in South Lismore for little return as we see it, so what are you proposing to offer?

    Ken and Rhonda Baker asked 10 months ago
    Additional SRV funds would be used for Economic Development activities:
    • Fund initiatives arising from the new Lismore Economic Development Strategy.
    • Council has recently conducted community consultation in Lismore, Nimbin and our rural areas to develop this strategy.
    • Improve Lismore CBD infrastructure and streetscaping. Increase activity in the Lismore CBD at night to create a vibrant and safe city centre after dark.
    • Improve Lismore CBD lighting and host activities such as pop-up events, buskers and  markets.
    • Provide support to Nimbin and villages to activate town centres with initiatives such as improved lighting and safety. Projects would be developed in close consultation with those communities to address specific needs.
    • Fund an incentive program to encourage new businesses to establish in Lismore.
    • Support the growth of new industries and help expand our existing business and industry sectors. We would help develop precincts where businesses could co-locate, making Lismore the regional centre for those services. We would develop our health precinct, professional services sector and agricultural industries as well as grow our aviation, education and training, culture, and sport and recreation sectors.
    • Fund programs that stimulate and grow tourism – encourage new tourism developments throughout the region.
    • Introduce telecommunications infrastructure such as free Wi-Fi in the Lismore CBD.
    • Improve cultural infrastructure such as our performing arts spaces.
    • Cut unnecessary red tape and streamline the processes that aid the establishment of new businesses and encourage development.

    Sealed Roads

    Additional SRV funding would be used to reconstruct roads that are in very poor condition. Roads would be reconstructed and then regularly resurfaced so they stay in good condition for as long as possible. Over a 10-year period, additional SRV funds would see the road network improve right across the Local Government Area. 

    SRV Option 2 would enable us to reconstruct an additional 2.75km of sealed roads each year. It would provide $32 million over 10 years to address the roadworks backlog of $65 million (reported in 2017/18) that currently exists.
    SRV Option 3 would enable us to reconstruct an additional 3.4km of sealed roads each year. It would provide $40 million over 10 years to address the roadworks backlog of $65 million (reported in 2017/18) that currently exists.

    • In a nutshell, an SRV would ensure:
    • A greater number of roads in good condition, meaning less potholes and other failures.
    • A greater number of roads in good condition, resulting in more funding being available for planned maintenance and upgrades, and less money being spent on patching and repairing failed roads.
    • Roads would be reconstructed and receive ongoing resurfacing to stand the test of time.
    • Only a small percentage of roads would be in a very poor condition at any one time.
    • The average condition of the entire road network would improve.
    Gravel Roads
    Both of the proposed SRV options would deliver $500,000 annually to improve gravel roads. We would be able to complete the following works in addition to our ongoing grading program every year:
    • 10km of gravel re-sheets
    • Four culvert/causeway extensions or upgrades
    • Bitumen seal on three gravel road intersections

    At present, Council does not have funds for any gravel re-sheeting. Re-sheeting involves placing new gravel on the road and reshaping and rolling to decrease potholes and surface defects, and improve wet weather access. It also reduces dust volumes and provides a smoother driving experience

    Council maintains 400km of gravel roads. Over a 10-year period, the proposed SRV would see 100km or 25% of the entire gravel road network re-sheeted. Thirty gravel intersections would be bitumen sealed across the LGA and 40 culverts would be upgraded, reducing the wear and tear around these sections of road. Council would also continue its ongoing grading program.


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    How can this Council possibly believe that a SRV so outrageously high above the rate peg of 2.6% is acceptable to anyone no matter their circumstance ? Lismore area is largely low socio-economic. Average wages/salaries are much less than other, more affluent areas. Cost of living continues to rise putting enormous pressure on the average family. In the current economic climate we must look at how we spend and manage it better not just keep asking for more. That also applies to Council. Your remit is Rates, Roads, Rubbish FIRST. That does not mean you push these to the bottom of the priority list whilst you spend on beautification projects, art spaces and pet environmental causes with your hand out to receive greater funding to support these bottomless pit programmes that are merely an attempt to keep a few people in paid employment ! My rates for this financial year are $2000 ! I live in an area where I don’t even get regular garbage removal but I am paying $500 per annum for the privilege, where there are no Council facilities and the roads are simply dangerous in their disrepair. It is complete fiscal negligence by the Council to charge such high fees for such a lack of service. I will never support a permanent SRV of this magnitude. I will never support Council’s continued desire to direct funds to non-core business/cultural endeavours. Council needs to prove they are fiscally responsible and can constrain their spending to within their existing budget which will be nicely increased with the rate peg of 2.6%!

    Joanne Rennie asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    We acknowledge your concerns about any increases in your rates.  This consultation is about our ability to continue into the future to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions.  This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.  Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer.  We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

    Lismore is a regional city and has a total population of 43,843 – the second largest population in the region after Tweed Shire.

    Council provides the necessary services and infrastructure to support a regional city. With major public and private hospitals, tertiary education services, a regional airport, retail services and large sporting and cultural events, Lismore is a place of work for thousands of daily visitors and a destination for thousands of tourists each year.

    Comparing our rates with that of other councils does not necessarily provide a relevant comparison, as we are a regional city and as such provide more services than other Northern Rivers towns.

    The additional income generated by this proposed SRV would place Council’s rating structure in line with that of other regional cities in NSW. The table below shows how Lismore measures up against other regional cities

    Regional Cities Rating Comparison

    Council

    Average Residential Rate

    Average Business Rate

    Population

    Lismore City Council

    $1,254

    $5,004

    43,843

    Albury City Council

    $1,317

    $6,209

    53,767

    Orange City Council

    $1,408

    $5,995

    42,056

    Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

    $1,188

    $3,842

    83,131

    Thank you once again.


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    So is this just a so called 'consultation process' so that Council can do what it has planned anyway? We really feel that LCC should have an administrator set in place to sort out the financial problems as to why our Council has so much debt and why LCC cannot manage their finances. You can pretend to do all the consultation you wish, but reality is the management of finances.

    Ken and Rhonda Baker asked 10 months ago

    Thankyou for your input to our community consultation.  


    Council is required to spend the SRV funds only on what Council has written in its application to IPART. Council will inform the community in its Annual Report each year about the activities undertaken with SRV funds. This ensures that the community has confidence about how the funds are spent.

    With regards to improving financial management and efficiency, the Council has taken these steps;

    •  In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.

    •  During the 2019/20 budget process, Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.

    •  Council is undergoing internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.

    •  Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.


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    I would like to ask if an increase in rates is to be considered, what is the Council doing to review all expenditure and determine where savings can be made? Has that been done and what has been the results? Many ratepayers are feeling the pinch of increasing costs in all areas and an increase will impact heavily on poorly paid people, the retired and the many with inadequate work availability to live comfortably.

    David Cameron asked 10 months ago

    With regards to improving financial management and efficiency, the Council has taken these steps;

      In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.

      During the 2019/20 budget process, Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.

      Council is undergoing internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.

      Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.

    ·  Council is pursuing State and Federal Governments for a greater share of available grants. 


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    Under Absolutely No Circumstances will I support any raising of Rates Council needs to Stop Wasting Ratepayers money on non essentials Why should Ratepayer pay for Council Mismanagement ???? Council needs to Focus on Core Basics of Roads, Keeping Rates Low & Collecting Rubbish. It is that simple - get those right and the books balanced.

    David Crawford asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

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    In the last 10 years how many more rate payers/property, lots are there than there was.

    Jade Zwiers asked 10 months ago

    A: The number of rate assessments has increased from 17,927 as at 30/6/09 by 767 to 18,694 as at 30/6/19.


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    What steps have Councillors and management, as separate entities, taken to reduce expenditure on items other than roads and rubbish to contain budget spending?

    Ken Phillips asked 10 months ago

    With regards to improving financial management and efficiency, the Council and Management are working closely and have taken these steps;

    • In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.
    • Due to financial constraints, the Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.
    • The 2019/20 Budget was prepared on a zero based budget basis. This required all section to substantiate all expenses and revenues. This will result in managers having a clear understanding of the budget and associated expectations.
    • Council is undertaking internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.

    As to revenue generation, the following are in progress:

    • Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.
    • Council is pursuing State and Federal Governments for a greater share of available grants. 

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    Under Absolutely No Circumstances will I support any raising of Rates with the SRV Proposal. The council needs to Stop Wasting Ratepayers money on things like Art Galleries, Arty Arks, Rainbow Crossings, Solar Panels on Sewerage Ponds, Overseas Trips for Councilors. Why should Ratepayer pay for Council Mismanagement. Council needs to Focus Only on the Core Basics of the 3R's Roads, Keeping Rates Low & Collecting Rubbish

    Darren Dennis asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

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    Every response to every question is very much pushing councils own agenda, continually giving reasons why council wants more money. Try listening to those who pay and are taking the time here to voice their thought's and concerns. For those of us who work and live in the Lismore area how are we meant to make ends meet when the cost of living keeps going up and wages don't? I currently pay over $3500 in rates. Everyone I speak with pay's more than the reported average. So how clouded is that average figure? Is the average rate figure affected by low cost housing, retirement villages and units? Be interested to know what the average rate is for a privately owned house is? Try working and keeping within budgets like the rest of us. Totally against any further rate increases, more financial pressure will force people to move on.

    mick hall asked 11 months ago

    The Council acknowledges that individual circumstances will be different and therefore views about an SRV will also be different. The purpose of the consultation is to inform the community of the SRV proposal and seek feedback. The feedback received will be report to Council’s November 2019 meeting when a decision will be made on if an application for a SRV will be submitted to IPART.  

    With regards to the average rate,  the “Have Your Say’ brochure refers to the current rate for the average urban residential rate is $1,229. This relates to the general rate amounts only shown on the rate notice as Residential Urban and Base Amount – Res Urban.

    Reasons why your rates are more that the average could include:

    1. Your property’s land value, which general rates are based on, may be more than the average land value of urban residential properties, or
    2. The dollar amount you refer to are total rates and charges. Charges could include waste collection charges, sewer charges, waste minimisation charges, stormwater charges, etc.

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    I can not support the councils consecutive push for rate increases to such extremes year in year out. I question the councils ability to manage funds with rate rises out stripping the cpi and pay increases in the community. This is what Federal Labour wanted to do to Australia. I have to view it as fiscal mismanagement.

    Brett McGovern asked 10 months ago

    The proposed SRV is to provide new funding to specifically rebuild more roads and improve the local economy. It is not possible to do this and also deliver the current range of works and services provided by Council to the community.

    With regards to improving financial management and efficiency, the Council has taken these steps;

      In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.

      During the 2019/20 budget process, Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.

      Council is undergoing internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.

      Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs.

    ·  Council is pursuing State and Federal Governments for a greater share of available grants. 


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    The SRV proposed by Council must be a tongue in cheek moment. By any standard, ongoing increases of 17% and 6.9 % would be a big ask for those on fixed incomes. eg pensioners and self funded retirees. I am assuming that all the actions of Council like 'zero based budgets', 'recruitment moratoriums' and 'across the board cuts of 5 to 10% ' were to recover the $6.1 million cash deficit Or was the cash deficit only 'identified' and still a cash problem. While I can understand some SRV,s are necessary, they should be small and for specific purpose , stand alone and not the Big Bang ,ongoing approach.

    Norm Godwin asked 11 months ago

    With regards to the $6.1 million cash deficit for the year reported to the Council’s 26 February 2019 meeting, a number of measures including a zero based budget for 2019/20 and an asset rationalisation strategy, have been implemented to mitigate the ongoing impact.

    As the SRV, its purpose is to provide additional ongoing funding of $4.5 million to fix the roads and $1.6 million to stimulate economic development in the Lismore local government area. The community is not being asked to pay for the cash deficit.


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    Lismore City Council have mismanaged their budgets for many years. Why should Lismore ratepayers have to fix the significant black hole that has developed? If it was private enterprise, managers of the various departments would be held to account, including termination of employment contracts. People in private enterprise also have to use their own vehicles to travel to other work sites (and claim travel reimbursement). Why hasn't the Council decided to stop all of its leased vehicles (and requiring staff to use their own vehicles)? The use of leased vehicles is a significant waste of money to rate payers, and this would help solve some of your financial difficulties faced by the Council.

    Eileen Thomas asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    The community consultation we are currently undertaking is not related to the cashflow deficit that was identified early this year.  That deficit was turned around by Council and the diligent efforts of the staff to achieve a small cashflow surplus at the end of the last financial year.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.

    This consultation is about our ability to continue into the future to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.

    The Council does have vehicles which it permits staff to also use for private use. In these situations, staff are required to pay for the private use costs. It is fundamental that the Council does not subsidise any private use.

    Thank you once again.


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    I live in North Lismore in a very Flood affected area. My current rates are $2350 per year (that is my current bill). With the proposed SRV my rates would increase to just over $3000p/a! which is just ridiculous. Council even tried to change the zoning of our street to Extreme hazard, but was forced to zone it as a mere floodway!!!? after residents complained! Which has totally devalued our street and area. I understand the need for more funding, and I love living in our city. It is a beautiful place to be. But if the rates increase i will be paying $50 per week ontop of my mortgage to live in what the council deems a floodway.... I also discovered that the average rates of lismore are around half of what i already pay! As a soon to be father and a household on 1 small income this will be VERY hard to agree with. Why not consider a tierd system where individual rates are raised depending on what you already pay? I dont believe that any current area of funding should be cut. Lismore is a great town. But understand that if this rate increase happens a LOT of people will be reconsidering its greatness. Lismore rates are already higher on average than Byron council and Ballina council and FAR higher for our businesses. If you want economic growth we need to make it feasable for businesses to afford to be here. What would the proposed rates be for a business in the new river development proposal? A river that WILL flood many more times! Anyway im not totally against it. I want lismore to thrive but so far this just isnt the way. P.S the survey is not as comprenhensive as it should be to gain a true community perspective.

    Tim Moores asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    We acknowledge your concerns about any increases in your rates.  This consultation is about our ability to continue into the future to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions.  This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.  Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer.  We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

    Lismore is a regional city and has a total population of 43,843 – the second largest population in the region after Tweed Shire.

    Council provides the necessary services and infrastructure to support a regional city. With major public and private hospitals, tertiary education services, a regional airport, retail services and large sporting and cultural events, Lismore is a place of work for thousands of daily visitors and a destination for thousands of tourists each year.

    Comparing our rates with that of other councils does not necessarily provide a relevant comparison, as we are a regional city and as such provide more services than other Northern Rivers towns.

    The additional income generated by this proposed SRV would place Council’s rating structure in line with that of other regional cities in NSW. The table below shows how Lismore measures up against other regional cities

    Regional Cities Rating Comparison

    Council

    Average Residential Rate

    Average Business Rate

    Population

    Lismore City Council

    $1,254

    $5,004

    43,843

    Albury City Council

    $1,317

    $6,209

    53,767

    Orange City Council

    $1,408

    $5,995

    42,056

    Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

    $1,188

    $3,842

    83,131

    Thank you once again.


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    As you know it's very hard out there to run a business these days or keeping our family's afloat. Putting more strain on local people is going to make it harder on family's across lismore to be able to spend money. I run a local business and we have seen the effects. My question is if this passes rates will never go back down will they? If It dose not pass what is your plan fot the future what is the next 5 year goal for lismore Will council keep getting yearly wage increases or will that stop

    Neal Klemm asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    NSW councils have transformed themselves beyond a narrow focus on ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ and are required under the Local Government Act, to deliver broader objectives to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of communities. These challenges have become increasingly difficult to manage due to the financial pressures placed on councils.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions.  This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.  Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer.  We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

    The proposed increase in the rates base is intended to be permanent to allow Council to meet community expectations for maintenance of infrastructure and services.

    Section 241 of the Local Government Act 1993 states that the  Local  Government Remuneration Tribunal determines the minimum and maximum annual fees to be paid to Mayors and Councillors'.  Council determines Councillors’ and the Mayor’s fees within this range.

    Thank you once again.

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    Why are our roads not repaired more thoroughly, as they seem to be repaired and not last long and when will the hospital end of Dibbs st get guttering and the pipes repaired as we are constantly getting leaks outside our house and bandaid repairs are just that bandaid repairs ??!!

    Samantha King asked 11 months ago

    Unfortunately some of our road pavements have reached the end of their serviceable life.

    Consequently it is difficult to maintenance these failed sections of road to a standard that is acceptable to the community. The strength of the underlying ground is also a factor. as a significant quantity of Council’s road network is on very weak (clay) natural ground which does not have adequate load carrying capacity for heavy vehicles (trucks etc).


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    Sounds good to me Joanne Rennie who said: ‘Councils remit is Rates, Roads, Rubbish - the three R's. That is where all your consideration and deliberations ought to be levelled unless you have a budget surplus ‘ As Lismore ratepayers we do not support special rate increase . We should taylor our garment to our cloth. We are farmers and our income has been significantly cut because of the drought this year and we are already using our superannuation to pay our rates. Although community and environment projects enhance life in our city, we prefer council to cut non-essential services and live within our means until the deficit is paid out rather than following a trend in our society to find more money from ‘somewhere’ so we can have everything we want

    KATHIE asked 11 months ago

    Thank you Kathie for your input into our community consultation.

    NSW councils have transformed themselves beyond a narrow focus on ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ and are required under the Local Government Act, to deliver broader objectives to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities. These challenges have become increasingly difficult to manage due to the financial pressures placed on councils.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions. This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry. In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board. This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business. Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer. We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.


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    why should we have to pay for white elephant ideas that cost rate payers money like the goonellabah pool and the Lismore bathes and also waste over $50000 on VIP toilet spray that doesn't even work in our toilets and gets stolen by your staff. How about sacking some of the un-needed staff you have and save us some money instead of increasing our rates.

    woolly muldoon asked 11 months ago

    NSW councils have transformed themselves beyond a narrow focus on ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ and are required under the Local Government Act, to deliver broader objectives to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities. These challenges have become increasingly difficult to manage due to the financial pressures placed on councils.

    Our staff are hard-working and diligent. Lismore City Council is a very diverse business providing a complex range of services and facilities to the community. In each area of the business our staff are committed to providing the community with high levels of service and value for money. We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions. This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry. In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board. This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business. Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer. We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.



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    Why are rate payers the ones who are going to wear the cost of 5 years of poor council decisions. The political based decisions made in the realm of business by the council and its representatives have resulted in increased costs and reduced revenue across the spectrum of council owed assets. Some examples A glass recycling plant - didn’t meet requirements now a cost Gsac - numerous investments and upgrades cost which now runs at a loss Assets degrading - roads, parks and gardens, water and sewer - but large amounts of capital spewed into non revenue gathering investments - woodlark st boat, art gallery upgrade, memorial baths upgrade( incorrectly installed non compliant for competition events) A revenue generating quarry turned into a cost for 3 years. I would be happy to invest in my council and community with increased rates if it was going to generate growth or positive Sustainability of local government assets, but from the history of poor decisions and no proof of improving I vote no, not until the poor business decisions stop and are shown over a term. Council is a business and should be operated as one, my request would be proof before payment rather than pay then pray for better decisions

    Michael Clark asked 11 months ago

    NSW councils have transformed themselves beyond a narrow focus on ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ and are required under the Local Government Act, to deliver broader objectives to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities. These challenges have become increasingly difficult to manage due to the financial pressures placed on councils.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions. This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry. In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board. This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business. Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer. We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

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    Councils remit is Rates, Roads, Rubbish - the three R's. That is where all your consideration and deliberations ought to be levelled unless you have a budget surplus at which time you can then allocate to the ridiculously "... diverse range of services provided to the community". You were unable to balance the budget resulting in a $6 million dollar deficit which is astonishingly bad management in itself. Yet, not long after this announcement Councillors awarded themselves a pay rise. Where is responsible fiscal management ? It appears absent when clearly self-serving decisions such as a pay rise are made under the existing fiscal constraints. To now ask rate payers to pick up the tab, many of whom don't participate in the vast majority of your community service commitments, is gouging the easiest sector to gouge. Lismore and surrounds are relatively low income with stagnating salaries/wages/pensions. Costs of living continue to increase, putting pressure on your constituents, the rate payer. We are ill-equipped to meet continuing pressure to "pay up" on demand. When will this Council demonstrate fiscal responsibility and fiscal management ? Don't you agree that the Council has a fiscal responsibility to rate payers in ensuring that only core services are maintained whilst working out what you can actually afford to do ? Don't you believe it's time to pull back on just saying yes to every idea that is presented to you ? You cannot serve all the people, all the time and to pretend you can by asking rate payers to fund your excessive commitment schedules, is irresponsible conduct and not good government.

    Joanne Rennie asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    NSW councils have transformed themselves beyond a narrow focus on ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ and are required under the Local Government Act, to deliver broader objectives to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities. These challenges have become increasingly difficult to manage due to the financial pressures placed on councils.

    We have been and are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions. This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry. In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board. This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business. Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer. We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

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    I do not mind paying rates, but what I do object to is mismanagement of money. Unfortunately this is the feeling most people have in relation to the council which really feels separate to the people of Lismore based up in Goonellabah. There must be more transparency. Lismore is not a wealthy place, all these rate hikes will hit the poorest most, landlords will pass on the costs and hey presto, other troubles will arise. It's not rocket science. Houses are in short supply and no affordable houses are being built. Mechanical and tyre companies are loving the extra revenue due to the obvious and very public terrible road conditions which is then used as a platform for these rate hikes. It is so obviously unsustainable, there are no wage increases!!! How will council save more money because this will be the will of the people? I mean look at the rainbow crossing now, not so bright now and that was a momentary expenditure. Great in the short term of the council, not so in the long term and that is where we all should be looking. How far does the council look ahead? A councillor's term?

    Darren Williams asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    We appreciate your suggestions and assure you that we are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions. This is happening across all areas of Council, from the Waste Facility to the Quarry. In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board. This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business. Areas such as Dial Before You Dig are being reshaped to reduce staff intervention and give enquirers a much quicker answer. We are also looking at all our under-performing assets and improving our procurement and contract management capability to ensure that Council gets better value for money from its contracts.

    As for looking ahead, Council develops a 10 year Community Strategic Plan and a 10 year Long Term Financial plan. Its Delivery Program is for four years which aligns with a Council term.

    Thank you once again.


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    The Lismore City Council has proven to have mismanage funds based on the last financial years cash deficit of $6.1 million. With the proposed rate increase, it is obvious that LCC is trying to use that deficit as an excuse as to why more funding is needed, although it is still not clear as to where the $6.1 million went in the first place. Why would I as a rate payer be willing to agree to a rate increase when I have no way of seeing where my money is being spent? The council does not adequately promote suggested spending to allow it's rate payers to have an equal say on what we want, for example, the rainbow crossing and the arty ark. These are expenditures a council that has run out of money can do without. I would like to see where my money is being spent in the form of a cent by cent breakdown, similar to what we receive from the government at the end of the financial year when we lodge our tax. This would be a start in gaining trust from the rate payers, so we can see exactly where our dollars are being spent and maybe then trust a rate rise will be the right decision. The current trust issues the Lismore and surrounds population has with LCC will ensure the rate increase will not be met with understanding. No one wants a rate rise, regardless of why, but under the circumstances, there is no faith or trust that the rate rise will make any difference to fixing our area due to the history is mismanaged funds and lack of community involvement in spending

    Ashlee asked 11 months ago

    The purpose the SRV is to provide additional ongoing funding of $4.5 million to fix the roads and $1.6 million to stimulate economic development in the Lismore Local Government area. The community is not being asked to pay for the cash deficit reported by the Council at its 26 February 2019 meeting.

    With regards to the $6.1 million cash deficit, the report to Council and attachments are public documents and available on Council’s website. In summary, the key items impacting this were:-

    1.  Waste Operations – ($3.35) million. The major items being;

    • With the current disposal cell having reached full capacity, delays in the construction of a new disposal cell and licencing requirements, alternative disposal options are required at an estimated net cost of ($1.41) million.

    • Additionally,
    • a) existing waste will be transported and disposed off-site at a cost of ($1.25) million, and b) existing glass stockpile will be crushed and bi-product disposed at a cost of ($691,300).

    2.  Plant & Property Sales – ($1.99) million. Forecast revenues from the sale of plant and property have been revised down due to delays in the preparation of properties for sale ($1.18) million and a revised fleet replacement strategy ($814,000).

    3.  Northern Rivers Quarry Operations – ($1.23) million. Existing forecasts will not be realised due reduced sales revenues ($599,000), increased road improvement levies costs ($320,000) and increased operating expenses ($317,000).

    4.  March 2017 Flood – $1.58 million. Council expects payment of $1.9 million by the end of February 2019. This is offset by a Council resolution to commit $355,000 to roads and footpaths.

    5.  Beardow Street Land Slip – ($700,000). Remediation of contaminated site. The required works and estimated cost is subject to final independent certification.

    With regards to reporting similar to what the Commonwealth Government provides to taxpayers, the Council is developing financial reporting which will be more user friendly and reported against the strategies and actions outlined in the Delivery Program 2017-2021.


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    How do you calculate the average urban rates of 1229, this figure is way below what I pay for my small urban block, it’s cliser to 2600. Why are you limiting our reasons to object to only 250 characters in the survey? Surely we should be able to give more detailed responses. Why can’t we just send an email to Council explaining in full how this will impact on our lives? How are you reporting the verbal feedback from your info. Kiosks?

    Lindie Shrestha asked 11 months ago

    The current rate for the average urban residential rate valued at $133,000 is $1,229 for 2019/20. This relates to the general rate amounts only shown on the rate notice as Residential Urban and Base Amount – Res Urban.

    Reasons why your rates may be more that the average include:

    a)  Your property’s land value, which general rates are based on, may be more than the average land value of urban residential properties, or

    b)  The dollar amount you refer to are total rates and charges. Charges could include waste collection charges, sewer charges, waste minimisation charges, stormwater charges, etc.



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    Have you considered a fixed amount for each ratepayer rather than a percentage. Residential rural rates are disproportionally high compared to urban residential, for no good reason since I can't subdivide or downsize my 1 Hectare block. So I'm force by the council to pay higher rates for land that is not being efficiently used for residential purposes. My view is the proposed 17% rate hike is outrageous. Has Council considered efficiency initiatives. Mario Perin

    Mperin asked 11 months ago

    The Council cannot levy the SRV as a fixed amount to each rateable property.

    The Local Government Act 1993 provides councils with two options when levying ordinary rates:-

    ·  Option 1 – Levy ordinary rates to all rateable properties using a combination of a base amount and land valuation.

    The base amount is a council’s assessment of costs that could reasonably be said to be common to all ratepayers regardless of property use or location, such as for the Mayor and Councillors, governance, development assessment, corporate centre, works depot, etc.

    The balance of each rate assessment is levied based an ad valorem rate i.e. the land valuation multiplied by a rate in the dollar. Rates will be levied on three categories of property: – Business, Residential and Farmland.

    Option 1 is used by Lismore City Council.

    ·  Option 2 – Levy ordinary rates to all rateable properties based an ad valorem rate i.e. the land valuation multiplied by a rate in the dollar. Rates will be levied on three categories of property: – Business, Residential and Farmland.

    With regards to what else is the Council doing to improve its financial management and efficiency;

    • In January 2019, Council undertook a due diligence study that recommended a range of strategies to improve efficiency within Council. These included implementing technology and software upgrades to limit manual data entry and double handling; improvement of governance and procurement procedures to streamline these areas; and a reconfiguration of the organisation to utilise staff skills more effectively. These are all currently being implemented.
    • During the 2019/20 budget process, Council resolved to cancel or defer 33 projects from the Imagine Lismore Delivery Program 2017-2021. Staff resources that were being used to progress these projects are now being used for other core activities.
    • Council is undergoing internal reviews to find further efficiencies with no impact to service delivery.
    • Council is investigating new revenue streams to ensure a financial return that helps fund the ongoing costs to maintain Council facilities. An example of this could be the introduction of entry fees and/or other reasonable user charges to cover operating costs

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    I was invited to attend a meeting this morning about revitalising the CBD and the way forward for the LCC economy. This meeting is to go from 7.30 am to 9.00am. and is funded by LCC. The venue is the Gateway Motel in Ballina St. Breakfast is included!!!. Council "needs a SRV to remain viable" perhaps if they cut this type of expenditure it would help. I realise the cost of this venue and breakfast is minor in the overall expenditure of Council but it is indicative of how our money is wasted. Why couldn't the meeting be held at a room at the council building and not be catered. Do we need to supply a free feed at a flash venue for a meeting that lasts 11/2 hrs?? I for one would agree to a small rate rise but only after all this type of wasted expenditure is stopped. It is after all OUR MONEY that Council is wasting. Col Baker Modanville

    col baker asked 11 months ago

    Thank you Col for your question regarding the provision of a breakfast at the meeting at the Gateway Motel.  

    We held the meeting in a town venue to make this more convenient for the business owners from the CBD to attend.  Because of the time of the meeting and potential inconvenience to participants we offered a meal as it was a working breakfast.  

    Council does its best to support local businesses and seeks to minimise the inconvenience of participants as they willingly give up their time to assist Council in the provision of targeted services and infrastructure.  However, thanks to your suggestion we will reconsider the provision of a meal and consult with participants to see if this is something they are also willing to forgo at future meetings.  We are doing everything we can to reduce unnecessary expenditure and thank you for your input.


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    I know the previous GM has moved on, unfortunately to late, but has anyone else been held accountable for this mess? 3x Directors? Whose combined salary could fix many roads. Finance manager? Quarry manager? Unless these are new people, they should be out the door, but once in council you can never really be sacked just shift to the side. But its ok just accumulate an inefficient workforce, poor management personel, fix roads twice, do a rainbow footpath and increase the rate by 17% in year 1!

    Garth Williams asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    Yes, we have a new General Manager and the Directors of Corporate Services and Partnerships, Planning and Engagement are also new.  We are in the process of recruiting a new Director Infrastructure Services.  In addition a number of other staff changes have been made.

    Our staff are hard-working and diligent.  Lismore City Council is a very diverse business providing a complex range of services and facilities to the community.  In each area of the business our staff are committed to providing the community with high levels of service and value for money.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.

    This consultation is about our ability to continue to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.

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    Council have given us the ratepayers in have your say here, Option one or Option two. I believe in option one due to the fact of your wastefulness of our taxpayer's monies.Council had the shortfall of the 6.1million and now you wish us the ratepayers to have our rates INCREASED. NO and say in you Local matters the benefits of roads& enhance the CBD etc. Well how about tell the ratepayers of if council still has their overseas investments? Do you ?? Where did not just one but 2 grants for security fencing around the Lismore airport ever go? It sure wasnt spent on the all security fencing was it. So where did that money go Council ?? The fact is by the Rex airlines engine and propeller issue when it hit a kangaroo on the main runway, would never have happen if the security fencing was erected. The mantainence of the airport lands is disgusing for those who have business there it barely maintain. You could even slash the unsued grass bale it and be a wise generous council offer it to our own farmers doing it tough BUT no it a fire hazard . Your own spending on your local matters booklet is a also where you could tighten your own council belts. Go around to post offices boxes where are those booklets in the waste bins are you just adding to more recycle of paper. WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY. Go back to it being in the local Echo paper you may find it less of a cost than a coloured booklet. OR consider to ask your ratepayers of what they prefer before you waste our rate monies. Same goes for fuel costs in your council cars. Why should a council car fuel bill if used for private use, the petrol be taken from the council monies. There is alot of ways, you Council could save monies (give you some ideas IE recycle collection every 3 weeks instead of 2. Council sweepers of residental roads not needed, seen it done what a waste of money & time). So stop asking us, ratepayers, to dig deeper into our pockets for your major investment stuff-ups.Think it time for council to look within your own establisment a way to tighten your own belts.

    Wendy Murfitt asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your input into our community consultation.

    The community consultation we are currently undertaking is not related to the cashflow deficit that was identified early this year.  That deficit was turned around by Council and the diligent efforts of the staff to achieve a small cashflow surplus at the end of the last financial year.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.

    This consultation is about our ability to continue into the future to deliver a broad range of services from roads to rubbish collection, parks and playgrounds, cultural activities and events, libraries and swimming pools, environmental protection, and much more. The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide all these services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.

    Council is not permitted to have overseas investments.

    Council only invests in Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions. Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions are corporations that are authorised under the Banking Act 1959 (Commonwealth) to take deposits from customers.

    Council’s investments must comply with the following legislative and regulatory requirements:

    ·  Local Government Act (1993);

    ·  Local Government (General) Regulation (2005);

    ·  Ministerial Investment Order;

    ·  The Trustee Amendment (Discretionary Investments) Act (1997) – Sections 14;

    ·  Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting;

    ·  Australian Accounting Standards;

    ·  Office of Local Government Investment Policy Guidelines; and

    ·  Office of Local Government Circulars.

    A report on all invested funds is submitted to Council on a monthly basis.

    Council has no knowledge of any specific grants for security fencing received and not applied. Council has an existing grant under the RESTART program provided in 2015. A component of this grant was to do some fencing around the plane parking area and in between some of the hangers for airport development. This work has been completed. Some funding is remaining in the overall grant and we have sought a variation to apply these funds towards security/wildlife fencing. This approval has not yet been received. Council has previously baled the grass at the airport and made it available to drought affected farmers. We will investigate options to repeat. An inspection of the airport curtilage managed by council will be undertaken regarding maintenance standards.

    The Council does have vehicles which it permits staff to also use for private use. In these situations, staff are required to pay for the private use costs. It is fundamental that the Council does not subsidise any private use.

    Local Matters is published and distributed both digitally and in paper form to provide the broadest possible coverage of the community.  Not everyone has digital access or receives and reads the Echo.  Local Matters plays an important part in informing our community about Council activities and events.

    We appreciate your comments and assure you that we are looking at all ways of achieving efficiency gains and cost reductions.  This is happening across all areas of Council.

    Our staff are hard-working and diligent.  Lismore City Council is a very diverse business providing a complex range of services and facilities to the community.  In each area of the business our staff are committed to providing the community with high levels of service and value for money.


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    Surely you can't seriously expect ratepayers to support this? I currently pay three times the average rates for the privileges of being a farmer in this Shire. For this I enjoy the magnificent service of a weekly garbage collection on the worst maintained road in Australia. Do you seriously expect people like me to support an incompetent shire who can't manage money with too many lazy staff & employees to ask for more money? I have witnessed your roadworks in action & seen simple jobs take months with a finished result that is disgraceful. On occasions I have seen more than 20 "workers" standing around watching two actually doing something. The last roadworks on Kyogle Road took months & are already deteriorating through poor workmanship. As I do not live in your Shire I stand to gain nothing from your wondrous vision of transforming Lismore from a drug invested fleahole into the magnificent utopia your cash grab will allegedly produce. Therefore my question to you is why should primary producers be further ripped off by increased rates when we already pay more than people in town for far less services? This is nothing short of theft. The idea of payment is to receive goods or services. You provide neither yet expect payment for it. Maybe if you learn to budget & get decent staff you can operate within your means? If private business like mine can do it why shouldn't local government?

    E. Robb asked 11 months ago

    The reality Council faces is that it is unable to provide the full range of its current services without increased revenue. We need to have a conversation with the community about rates and how we tackle these funding challenges.  If rates are not increased, services will have to be cut back to match the available revenue.

    Rate payers benefit from the services provided by Council in multiple ways.  As a property owner in the Lismore Local Government Area, you benefit from the amenity provided to those who are resident on or farming your property.  The roads infrastructure, the environment that has been created to encourage local businesses that can support your business, the proximity of a viable and growing health precinct are examples of this.  They combine to add value to your property.

    Our staff are hard-working and diligent.  Lismore City Council is a very diverse business providing a complex range of services and facilities to the community.  In each area of the business our staff are committed to providing the community with high levels of service and value for money.  In the past three years Council has undertaken 5% and 10% cuts across the board.  This has been supported by a moratorium of 6 months on recruitment. In the last financial year a zero based budget was adopted that resulted in additional cost savings across the business.


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    How can the council prove that quality roads are being built to last? What quality control mechanisms are in place for ensuring this and is there a "warranty period" where for newly built roads?

    Darren Williams asked 11 months ago

    Road construction works are undertaken in line with the relevant specifications. Council follows a quality assurance process which includes material compliance testing together with pavement testing, which is checked against the specification prior to applying the bitumen wearing surface. 

    With regards to the warranty period, for Contractors, there is a 12 month maintenance/defect period, while for works that are undertaken internally by Council there is a lifetime warranty, as the asset is maintained on an ongoing basis, regardless of when it was built.


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    You need to employ a person to oversee the management of money in the Lismore LGA. The costs you have quoted to repair and improve infrastructure is exorbitant. Today I saw 15 council workers on Barham Street East Lismore...two were controlling the stop/go signs around a vehicle and the rest were standing around. It was a disgrace. I often see huge numbers of workers at road works sites or similar and most are standing around watching...not working. Can you explain the reasons for this? It takes LCC so long to complete any project because in my opinion there is no one watching productivity of the workers. No one has to justify their position. Its a disgrace.

    Terry Marsters asked 11 months ago

    The traffic control activities taking place on Barham Street are not Council Staff. This work is being completed by a training organisation, who are undertaking the practical component for formal Traffic Controller accreditation.

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    Today I got the "Have your say" green leaflet regarding the proposed rate rise. In this leaflet you state the "average rural residential rate " is $1229, Why are mine @ $2746 more than double?

    Dave Christmas asked 11 months ago

    The Rates Consultation Fact Sheet refers to the current rate for the average urban residential rate is $1,229. This relates to the general rate amounts only shown on the rate notice as Residential Urban and Base Amount – Res Urban.

    Reasons why your rates may be double include:

    1. Your property’s land value, which general rates are based on, may be more than double the average land value of urban residential properties, or

    2. The dollar amount you refer to are total rates and charges. Charges could include waste collection charges, sewer charges, waste minimisation charges, stormwater charges, etc., or

    3. Your property may not be an urban residential property.

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    Why are we trying to get more money, when we should be looking at the fact that many council assets are losing a lot of money each and every year. Such as GSAC, has it ever profited? Lease out the cafe to a local business owner, don't have so many staff sitting around. I go to GSAC, to visit Alstonville osteopathy. I have lived in Lismore close to 10 years and have maybe used the facilities 10 times with my family. Look at WHERE your money is going.

    Felicity Hyde asked 11 months ago

    Council has over the last 4 years looked at all of its operations and made savings where possible. We have made significant efficiency improvements in our parks and gardens operations, water and sewage operations and reduced costs across Council’s operations.  The reality is that whilst these types of measures help, Council is always focused on doing things more efficiently, they will never provide the sort of money that we need to address our roads backlog.  

    In the past few years Council has gone out on several occasions to seek an expression of interest to operate the GSAC café with no response.

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    I note that a significant contributor to the revenue shortfall is the result of cost shifting from other tiers of government ($9.1 million). Why is there no third option demanding that other tiers of government actually govern and carry out their responsibilities?

    Dr Catharina van Vuuren asked 11 months ago

    Council will continue to advocate for increased funding from the State and Commonwealth Governments for responsibilities that have been forced upon councils. This is typically done through Local Government NSW, the peak organisation that represents the interests of NSW general and special purpose councils.

    In 2018, Local Government NSW estimated that cost-shifting onto councils means ratepayers are being forced to pick up the tab for local infrastructure and services to the tune of $820 million each year.

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    I asked 'The >6% roads SRV 1998 was gradually subsumed into general revenue ergo leaving roads budget no better off. What guarantee is there that the same will not happen again? If no guarantee as i believe to be the case please state this.' Council response: Council is required to spend Special Rate Variation funds only on what it has written in its application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Council are also required to inform the community in its Annual Report each year about what activities have been undertaken using Special Rate Variation funds. This ensures that the community has confidence about how the funds are spent. My response: The SRV >6% for roads was based on a critical need for road repairs as is being proposed now. Therefore as the years roll on one should continue to have the roads budget at a higher percentage of total budget than if there were no roads SRV >6%. Your response attempts to avoid the obvious duplicity of council. Of course LCC acted legally. But the loophole used by council was to reduce the roads budget as a percentage year to year. LCC can still claim the SRV is within the roads budget but that is just smoke and mirrors. Said monies were directed elsewhere by stealth from the roads budget. Where is the above analysis incorrect? We can prove which one of us is correct by comparing what percentage of total ratepayer rates was directed at road budget the year before the >6% SRV for roads, the first full year of SRV funding, and the % for 2005, 2015, 2018.

    Dr. Paul Recher asked 12 months ago

    The special rate variation you refer to commenced in 1997/1998. The rates raised for two years were to be matched by grant funds for roads from the State & Commonwealth Governments, or were to be refunded. Unfortunately, matching grant funds were not received and the unmatched portion of rates raised was refunded to ratepayers in 1999/2000.

    At the same time as the refund, the Council resolved to continue with the special rate variation to fund its operations, not just roads. This was an acknowledgement that Council provides a diverse range of services to the community and finding a funding balance for all was required. 

    Council is required to spend Special Rate Variation funds only on what it has written in its application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). The Council will also keep the community informed in its Annual Report each year about what activities have been undertaken using Special Rate Variation fund.

    In the absence of any other requirements, the Council could make a future decision to reduce existing roads funding. This decision would most likely be made during the annual operational plan process when the Council considers funding of the diverse range of services it provides to the community. 

    The annual operational plan (activities and budget) is publicly advertised during this time and open for members of the community to lodge a submission. Once the advertising period has closed, Council must consider all submissions it has received during the advertising period, prior to adopting the annual operational plan.  


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    How is it that when first 'settled' so many years ago, roads, bridges, parks etc etc were all built with a lot less money than is contributed to the shire/council via rates, DA application revenue sale of 'un-wanted' property (as happened to my daughter who unbeknownst to her had purchased a house that we all thought was bordered by council land and therefore safe from being built on. It was sold for some thousands as were (apparently) other 'un-wanted' blocks. How is there such a problem with 'lack' of money...IT DOES'NT MAKE SENSE TO ME.

    Linda Chapman asked 12 months ago

    Council provides a diverse range of services to the community. For infrastructure, assets including roads, bridges, footpaths and parks, the cost to maintain them increases as they age. As Council’s infrastructure is aged, maintenance costs are increasing at a rate over and above the rate peg percentage.

    Once the maintenance costs are met by Council, it results in less funding being available to renew or replace assets.

    An additional factor is cost shifting from other tiers of government. Cost shifting is where councils are forced by the State or Commonwealth Government to assume responsibility for more infrastructure and services, without sufficient corresponding revenue. When last reported in 2017, the estimated amount of cost shifting on Lismore City Council was $9.1 million.


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    The >6% roads SRV 1998 was gradually subsumed into general revenue ergo leaving roads budget no better off. What guarantee is there that the same will not happen again? If no guarantee as i believe to be the case please state this.

    Dr. Paul Recher asked 12 months ago

    Council is required to spend Special Rate Variation funds only on what it has written in its application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Council are also required to inform the community in its Annual Report each year about what activities have been undertaken using Special Rate Variation funds. This ensures that the community has confidence about how the funds are spent.