Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Council undertaking this consultation?
Council is responding to a range of unprecedented challenges including population growth and the commencement of rate capping in 2016/2017. Rate capping will put pressure on Council’s ability to deliver timely community infrastructure at the levels residents are accustomed to.
Building new infrastructure is so important and not just new infrastructure for the new neighbourhoods. With these challenges facing Council, the City of Casey is undertaking consultation to understand how important access to new community infrastructure is.
How fast is Casey growing?
The City of Casey is projected to grow from its current population of 295,000 to 490,000 residents by 2041. That is a 70 per cent increase in the next 26 years.
This ongoing growth in both the established and growth areas of Casey will put pressure on Council’s ability to meet the community demand for services. New, upgraded and replacement facilities will be needed to run these services, activities and programs from.
Won’t the increase in population generate more rates Income for Council?
It does, and this income will ensure we can maintain service delivery for the growing community. These are costs such as collecting rubbish, maintaining roads, drains, buildings, parks and other assets, running the Council and running the services from the community and recreation facilities.
This additional rates income does not provide for the upfront capital costs required to deliver all the new, upgraded and replacement facilities that will be needed to service such a population boom. These are pressures not faced by inner and middle suburbs who face comparatively minor population increases.
Don’t the developers pay for new Infrastructure?
There are levies on developers that help contribute to new community and recreation facilities in new estates. This is never enough to cover the costs of delivering the facilities required in Casey. These levies are also being capped by the State Government so choices will have to be made about what facilities are delivered with the levies and what will be need to be delivered through rates income.
Facilities will be delayed as there is increasing pressure on the rates income to deliver infrastructure across the municipality. This competition will see facilities delayed and residents that move in early missing out or having to travel further to access the services that they need.
What about increasing fees and charges to fund new infrastructure?
Many Council services attract fees and charges for use. These charges represent a minimal contribution to the actual cost of delivering a service in most cases.
What is rate capping?
Rate capping is the percentage limit to be imposed by the State Government to which all Councils in Victoria may increase the total income they will receive from rates.
The rate cap is being introduced in 2016/2017 and will be set annually in December each year by the Essential Services Commission (ESC).
The forecast rate cap for 2016/2017 is 3.05 per cent but the actual cap will not be known until December 2015.
It is forecast that over 10 years, the impact of rate capping on Casey will be $150 million.
For further information visit the Environment Land, Water and Planning website Fair Go Rates section and the Essential Services Commission website Local Government Rates Capping & Variation Framework Review section.
Why doesn’t Council reduce services?
Council held the Casey: Let’s Chat focus group in October 2015 where the overwhelming message from those residents who participated is for Council to deliver more or the same level of access to services and facilities for our community.
Council has already initiated a program of efficiency and effectiveness which is identifying opportunities to ensure Council services are operating as lean as possible.
What infrastructure projects will Council delay or cease?
Council has identified four projects:
- Autumn Place Family and Community Centre, Doveton
- Hunt Club Football and Cricket Recreation Facility, Cranbourne East
- Glenelg Football and Cricket Recreation Facility, Clyde North
- Casey Fields Soccer Facility, Cranbourne East
These four projects represent $23.5 million of new infrastructure that will not be able to be accommodated in a rate capped budget for the next four years.
These new infrastructure projects are not near me. Why would I want to pay more rates for them?
The Autumn Place Family and Community Centre and the Hunt Club Football and Cricket Recreation Facility are local facilities that will mostly be used by people that live near them. At some point the impact of rate capping will touch every suburb in Casey.
All areas in Casey are growing and have forecasted increase in demand for Council services. Our planned infrastructure program benefits all areas of Casey and will be reduced at some point due to rate capping.
The cost of all services and new infrastructure is spread across the entire municipality on a fair and equitable basis with an aim to providing safe, convenient and local access to what each of Casey’s 295,000 residents need.
How will Council use the feedback collected?
At the conclusion of the consultation, feedback will be considered by Councillors and will inform Council’s decision as to whether it will seek a rate variation for 2016/2017.
Consultation has concluded