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Council Budget 2024-25 Have your Say

By Manly Community Forum
Published in Council
May 18, 2024
2 min read

Out of the 14 Councillors present at the May meeting, only seven agreed to exhibit the four documents used to manage the Council financial activities. The remaining seven were apparently unhappy with the extent of the impending rate rises and failure of the Council to ‘cut costs’. The drafts of the Delivery Program 2024-2028, Operational Plan 2024/25, Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) 2024-2034, and Asset Management Plans 2024- 2034 are now open for public comment for 28 days.

The results of the consultation will be reported to the Council at the next meeting in June, just in time for the beginning of the new financial year. Over the past few years Council has been impacted by some significant and costly events. COVID required reprioritisation of funds ultimately costing $41 million, six natural disasters cost $14 million, but $7 million was recouped from the State and Federal Governments, and an increase in the Emergency Services Levy which is now at $3.1 million per year. At the same time inflation increased by 16.8% over the last three years – more than double the 7.2% increase in rates income.

The 2024/25 draft budget outlines a total expenditure of $526 million, with a $101 million capital works program. Within this program, $40 million is allocated for asset renewal to enhance asset conditions and decrease ongoing maintenance costs. $61 million will be used to introduce crucial new assets to the community.

Other expenditure includes a $12.1 million investment in upgrading Council’s core operating systems, $2.1 million in loans will be repaid, and a new $10.45 million loan is proposed for the Warriewood Community Centre project and $4 million has been allocated for the Manly Life Saving Club.

These budget papers predict an Operating Deficit before Capital Grants and Contributions of $5.8 million.

IPART has authorised a potential 4.9% maximum increase in rates in 2024/25. This increased income forms the basis of the draft budget. The average residential rate might rise by $79 under the 4.9% rate peg. However, IPART recommends councils address the historical discrepancy between the rate peg and inflation levels through the special rate variation process, which is reflected in the draft 2024-2034 Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP).

Council is contemplating a scenario that involves a $20 million income boost in the 2025/26 financial year (year 2 of the LTFP) which is likely to necessitate a substantial rate increase, possibly around 10% or more. This rate increase will likely be in the FY25/26.

Read the documents and Have Your Say online on the Council website.

https://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/delivery-program-2024-2028


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