What happens if the City of Casey does not receive a rate cap variation from the Essential Services Commission?

If Council is not granted a rate cap variation by the Essential Services Commission (ESC), it will mean that rates will be capped at 2.5 per cent and important community projects will be delayed or abandoned, as there will be over $1.6m less funding each year.

The Hunt Club Football and Recreation Facility, which is planned to be delivered in 2016-17, will be put on hold. The Autumn Place Family and Community Centre, Casey Fields Regional Community Soccer Fields and Glenelg Football and Cricket Recreation Facility that are scheduled to commence in coming years will also be delayed.

The outcome from the ESC will be considered as a submission to the draft budget and will be considered and incorporated when the budget is adopted on 28 June 2016.

Why are Casey’s rates higher than some other Councils?

Casey is faced with planning and providing for a growing community which is a challenge many inner municipalities don’t have. In addition, the increase is from a lower base which makes the increase higher in percentage terms. 

Over 120 people move into Casey each week and by 2041, more than 490,000 residents will call Casey home.

We are taking steps now to plan for the future of the city, to ensure there is no compromise to the essential services and infrastructure that residents enjoy now and into the future. This includes continuing our investment into community infrastructure and services.

Saying that, Casey has some of the lowest rates per capita in outer metropolitan Melbourne.

Why can’t you reduce spending to allow for lower rates?

Council understands the financial pressures facing residents, but we cannot afford to stop our investment into community facilities, parks and roads. While increasing rates is not our preferred option, we have to balance the external costs being placed onto Council and our responsibility to continue delivering high quality services and building community infrastructure.

What are the major projects featured in the 2016-17 budget?

  • Enhanced family services by constructing the Selandra Integrated Community Centre, Clyde North and Eliburn Family and Community Centre, Cranbourne East
  • Continued investment into the health and wellbeing of our community by delivering the netball and basketball redevelopment at Casey Indoor Leisure Centre, Cranbourne East; construction of Bradman Drive Soccer and Cricket Recreation Facility, Cranbourne West; redevelopment of the Terry Vickerman Building to deliver gymnastics, netball and indoor sports, Cranbourne East; continued construction of a  pavilion at Casey Fields Cycling Precinct, Cranbourne East; new Tennis Pavilion at Sydney Parkinson Reserve, Endeavour Hills; upgrade of John Pandazopoulos Hall, Doveton; and new pavilion, floodlighting and oval upgrade at Rutter Park Recreation Reserve, Tooradin
  • Improved roads and road safety with the construction of Valetta Street, Clyde; Heather Grove / Casey Fields Boulevard intersection upgrade, Cranbourne East; construction of Smiths Lane (Browns Road to Robinsons Road), Cranbourne South; construction of Craig Road (North Road to Baxter Tooradin Road), Devon Meadows; and construction of North Road (Fisheries Road to South Gippsland Highway), Devon Meadows
  • Continued construction of Bunjil Place delivering an 800-seat theatre, studio, state-of-the-art gallery, function centre, community Library, customer service centre, cafe and a community plaza opening in late 2017
  • Digital services for residents to transact with Council anytime, anywhere and on any device commencing with the delivery of a new website
  • Continued investment in stimulating local jobs through new Business Innovation Incentives

Has the construction of Bunjil Place contributed to the rate rise?

The construction of Bunjil Place has not led to a rate increase. Through many years of responsible financial management, Council can finance the construction without an increase to rates using a combination of savings, a loan and external funding to fund the project.

Does the Fire Services Property Levy generate additional income for Council?

All Victorian Councils are required to collect this levy on behalf of the Victorian Government, and must pass the full amount on to the State Revenue Office.

What if I am having difficulty paying my rates?

Any ratepayer facing financial difficulties is encouraged to contact the Council to discuss payment options in-line with Council’s Hardship Policy.

How can I have my say on the Draft Budget?

All residents are invited to view the Draft Budget and make a submission by 21 June 2016. The Council will consider any written submissions and adopt the budget at a Special Council Meeting to be held at the Civic Centre, Magid Drive, Narre Warren, on 28 June 2016.

Why does the City of Casey need a rate cap variation?

Casey is unique. At 300,000 residents we are already the largest municipality in Victoria and one of the top three fastest growing. In the next 25 years another 190,000 people will move here, that’s almost two MCGs full of people.

As a growth Council, Casey must plan and provide for this fast growing community which is a challenge many inner municipalities don’t have. More than 120 people move into Casey each week and by 2041, 490,000 residents will call Casey home.

Council has a detailed 10-year plan in place to meet changing service demands, but the cumulative impact of rate capping in Casey will leave us $168M short over 10 years. We are taking steps now to plan for the future of the city, to ensure there is no compromise to infrastructure that residents enjoy now and into the future. 

Council understands the financial pressures facing residents, but we cannot afford to stop our investment into community infrastructure.

While increasing rates above the cap is not our preferred option, we have to take a responsible approach to continue to deliver high quality services and infrastructure.

The majority of residents do not support an application to vary rates. Why aren’t you listening to residents?

During the consultations we shared the pressures facing Casey and in light of these challenges the City of Casey has made the responsible decision to apply for a rate cap variation. 

Council has balanced the views gathered from the consultations in its decision making and the financial and growth pressures facing Casey.

We acknowledge our application to vary the cap may be an unpopular decision but Council has to act responsibly in the best interests of all ratepayers to protect the future of the city.

In the October consultation, residents told us they want the same or more level of service. By applying to vary the cap, we are ensuring core services residents need will not be slashed.