Towards Fairer Rates For Victorians
The Andrews Labor Government has acted today on its commitment to introduce a fair rates capping system, appointing the Essential Services Commission (ESC) to provide advice on the framework.
Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, and Minister for Finance, Robin Scott, today announced the inquiry and its Terms of Reference.
Ms Hutchins said this approach would ensure transparency and responsibility in rate increases for local residents, while at the same time promoting sustainability in the sector.
As part of its inquiry, the ESC will consult widely with councils and government agencies, as well as peak bodies such as the Municipal Association of Victoria, Victorian Local Governance Association and LGPro.
Additionally, the ESC will regularly consult with a sector panel established by the Minister for Local Government.
The ESC will publish a draft report on the framework, with local governments and other interested parties invited to comment.
A final framework report along with draft guidance material will be provided to the Minister for Finance and Minister for Local Government by 31 October 2015.
The Labor Government made an election commitment to cap council rates at the rate of inflation, keeping them in check with the cost of living.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins
“With the cost of living rising for Victorians, we are making council rates fair and balanced.”
“By welcoming contributions from across the sector, our rates capping policy will get the balance right.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Finance, Robin Scott
“The inquiry will take into account factors that may impact on a council’s financial outlook including population growth, services and infrastructure needs.”
“Our plan means more efficiency and accountability in the way councils increase their rates, as well as greater sustainability in the sector.”