PORT Stephens Council has released its long term financial plan for 2022-2032.
The plan seeks to align the long-term aspirations and goals of the Community Strategic Plan with the Council’s financial capacity to achieve those ambitions.
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The plan models three cumulative scenarios, each presenting a specific financial outlook, so that each scenario incorporates the assumptions and financial results of previous scenarios in order to model and inform residents about the results of the different scenarios.
Each scenario clearly shows that Port Stephens City Council is forecasting deficits for a number of years, coupled with a real lack of cash to continue to fund operations if current service levels are maintained.
A council spokesperson said the long-term financial plan highlights areas the council needs to address.
“The Council continues to face new pressures, constrained by a rate cap regime imposed by the state government that does not adequately forecast real increases in the cost of services.
“It is clear that Council will need to critically consider the rate burden imposed on local government area residents and ratepayers and will need to consider all options that may be available, including the possibility of requesting a special rate variation” , said the Council representative.
The representative stated that while such a move as a rate change may be undesirable, the option of considering a tariff burden increase should be considered.
The full plan is available on the Council’s website at https://www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/council/our-performance2/integrated-plans
By Tara Campbell