Late last year, Council started its conversation with the community to find out whether they thought it was reasonable for local residents to pay rates at levels comparable to other regional NSW cities. Currently Tamworth Regional Council’s general rating base is on average 17 per cent below that of comparable Group 4 councils such as Dubbo, Orange and Albury.
The first stage of community consultation was in November 2011 at 15 workshops at eight locations across the region. A report tabled at the December 13 Council meeting indicated the process had helped members of the community understand the need for a rate rise with feedback from those attending the sessions indicating 73 per cent acceptance of the need for a rate rise.
HAVE YOUR SAY via Council's website or email to have ongoing involvement in the community consultation process. As ratepayers you have the potential to influence Council decision making and we are interested in your feedback.
What has the community told us so far?
Public and targeted meetings were conducted during the period 14 November 2011 to 29 November 2011.
A presentation on the concept of a two-staged approach for increasing rate revenue and a concept feedback form were placed on Council’s website.
A full page open-letter to the residents of the Tamworth region, explaining the two-staged concept and requesting community feedback, was also placed in the Saturday 26 November edition of the Northern Daily Leader.
Meetings were held in Attunga, Bendemeer, Barraba, Dungowan, Kootingal, Manilla and Tamworth. Further meetings were also held to engage target groups including the indigenous, youth, the various government agencies, the Tamworth Regional Council Leadership Group and the Tamworth Regional Council staff. The meetings were reasonably attended with attendees generally supportive of the need for a rates rise for the purpose of maintaining community assets.
At the end of each meeting, community members were given the option of completing a feedback form indicating their support or non-support for the concept of a rating increase.
To date feedback has been received from 131 members of the community, with 96 (73%) indicating an acceptance of the need for a rate rise.