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Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Byron council rate rise approved by IPART

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Byron Shire Council chambers in Mullumbimby.
Byron Shire Council chambers in Mullumbimby.

Byron Shire Council’s request to have rates raised has been approved by the The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

In a press release today (Tuesday May 9), IPART says the approval is for a 33.55 per cent cumulative increase over four years to be retained permanently in the rate base.

Byron is one of eight local government areas (LGAs) that applied. Muswellbrook and Lockhart were not approved while Ballina received a temporary 4.90 per cent increase for one year only. They applied for a 17.64 per cent cumulative increase over three years to be retained permanently in the rate base.

The 33.55 per cent includes the ‘1.5 per cent rate peg applicable to all NSW councils in 2017-18 and the rate peg in subsequent years.’

IPART Chair, Dr Peter Boxall said special variations are designed to give councils the flexibility to generate additional income above the rate peg to meet their specific needs, and have a direct impact on the rates paid by land owners.

‘The rate peg is calculated each year to reflect changes in the standard operating costs of local government such as wages,’ Dr Boxall said.

‘Councils requiring additional funds to improve services, financial sustainability or to fund new capital works can apply for a special rate variation after consulting with their communities and meeting other criteria set by the Office of Local Government.’

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  1. Passing on increased costs to constituents at this cumulative rate shows how independent IPART really isn’t. State governments have been expanding local council “business” for a couple of decades now, without increasing share of funds to service this new “business”. Good old cost shifting – works a treat for the politicians. Also, Byron Shire’s small rate base shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the burden of tourism costs, but that’s what this decision means.

    • I agree. Tourism funded by the home owners, who are the ones inconvenienced by the influx of tourists.

  2. The State Government is milking Byron Shire through Land Taxes and Stamp Duties on property sales for all it’s worth. Due to high property prices this revenue must be in the 10s of millions of dollars if not a lot more and hardly anything makes it’s way back to the Shire’s coffers. I would ask our mayor and the Councillors to ask the State Government to make these revenues transparent and get some of this money to fund badly needed infrastructure projects. It’s ridiculous to shift the burden on to Byron Shire Ratepayers. “Independent” IPART is in this case nothing else than the State Government’s vehicle to protect these “Rivers of Gold” for Sydney bureaucrats to spend on long neglected infrastructure down there. It becomes more and more obvious that democracy in Australia is not at all well. These people (the State Government) don’t govern for us. It’s more like a never ending gravy train for inefficient bureaucracy with it’s lurks and perks. Bring back people like Ted Mack of North Sydney Mayor fame to Government and we might at last get some satisfaction out our taxes.


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