Most frequently asked questions

Why is a Special Rate Variation (SRV) being proposed?

Council’s Long Term Financial Plan has identified a gap between current projected funding for operation, maintenance and renewal of our assets, and what is needed to ensure they are maintained to an acceptable level into the future in line with the service expectations of our community.

Sutherland Shire Council’s rates model has not changed in decades. In considering how to address the financial challenges in continuing to maintain assets and provide services, Council has now reviewed the rates model and is proposing a fairer way forward for our community.


How will I know if I am impacted?

The minimum rate is currently set at $602 per annum, which is applicable for units, apartments, and some villas, town houses and duplex. If you take a look at your rates notice you will be able to see if you are currently paying the minimum.

(See highlighted red box in the image below)

Anyone currently paying under the new proposed minimum would see their rates increase to $900 per annum. For example, someone currently paying $800 would also be increased to the new minimum of $900. If a property, whether it be a unit, town house or villa, is already paying more than the $900 then they will only experience a rate increase equal to the rate peg amount set by IPART of 2.7%.

If you would like further clarification on the impact of the special rate variation on your rates, please give us a call on (02) 9710 0585 and we will be able to provide you with an answer for your specific circumstances.

Example of a Rates Notice - highlighted is the line item that says min rate

Why does Council need more funding to pay for its assets?

Over time, the range of assets and services Council provides to meet the needs of our community has changed and grown. Our assets include roads and footpaths, parks, sporting fields, libraries, stormwater management and much more.

Our Long Term Financial Plan shows we are facing a financial challenge in considering how we maintain our assets and the level of service our community expects in years to come.

Council has been undertaking a continual replacement and upgrade program to meet the needs of our community but many assets are already due for renewal and there is a $42M renewal backlog[1] that will only continue to grow if not funded adequately.

[1] The renewal backlog from the 30 June 2018 Financial Statements was $42 mil or 2.13%.

How much additional income will Council get from the SRV?

The Special Rate Variation would generate an additional $7.255 million per year in rates income.  The rates increase will help to fund the infrastructure backlog and services to meet the needs of the community and ensure that Council is financially sustainable in the long term.


Who will be impacted?

Under the proposed model, the minimum rate would increase to $900. Any residential unit/apartment, villa, town house, or duplex owner currently paying less than this amount will be impacted.

There are currently 20,531 residential unit/apartment owners paying the current minimum rate of $602.30 – which represents 25% of total rate paying households in the Sutherland Shire.

Under the proposed new model, 33% of total rate paying households will pay the new minimum.

Owners of detached dwellings, or units, town houses or villas that already pay more than $900 will only experience a rate increase by the rate peg amount set by IPART of 2.7%.

If you would like further clarification on the impact of the special rate variation on your rates, please give us a call on (02) 9710 0585 and we will be able to provide you with an answer for your specific circumstances.

When preparing the Financial Strategy and Long Term Financial Plan, a key factor taken into consideration was the soci-economic profile of the Sutherland Shire Local Government Area. With rates, annual charges, and user fees and charges making up the majority of Council's total revenue, it is importnat that the capacity to pay is one of those factors. To view Council's summary analysis of Sutherland Shire's Socio-Economic profile, see our Addendum Socio-Economic profile.