Camden Council’s proposed rate rise to fund community projects

Camden Council's Oran Park administration building. Picture: Dean Sewell
Camden Council's Oran Park administration building. Picture: Dean Sewell

Camden Council will use funds from a proposed special rate rise to keep the region’s existing parks, playgrounds and sporting facilities in top shape.

The council is one of 14 Sydney councils to seek a special rate variation in order to fund its urban renewal program.

Camden mayor Peter Sidgreaves said the council sought community feedback on the proposed rate increase.

“The increase would work out to be about an extra 79 cents per week, or an extra $41.25 per annum,” he said.

“Over the past six years we have spent $6 million on our urban renewal program but we hope to spend $5.1 million over the next four years.

“Without the special rate variation some of the projects we have planned may never be addressed.”

Projects under the planned urban renewal program include Leppington Station Road improvements, Catherine Fields Reserve ground and building improvements, Kontista Reserve seating and pathways, Liquidamber Reserve car parking spaces, The Cascades, Mt Annan park improvement works such as seating, bridges and bollards, Jack Nash Reserve playing surface and ground improvements, Camden Civic Centre building and interior upgrades, Kirkham Park BMX amenities, renewal of the heritage gates at Onslow Oval.

“I think we have some great facilities in Camden and it is important to maintain the assets that we already have,” Cr Sidgreaves said.

“We have a lot of great projects like the new play spaces, water play parks and something new coming to Oran Park next year – those are great projects, but the established [parks, playgrounds and] facilities are just as important.”

All NSW councils are eligible to increase general income from rates by up to 2.7 per cent in 2019-20 upon a vote by the elected councillors.

Councils seeking a maximum increase must consult with their communities and seek Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) approval, before they are able to adopt higher rates.

Council endorsed the start of the community consultation process which includes feedback on the program of works and impact on property rates at its November meeting.

Cr Sidgreaves said the rate rise would allow the council to continue its positive work in the community.

“The [urban renewal] program delivers the community a $5.1 million improvement program which includes many popular parks, reserves and buildings throughout the community,” he said.

“This is essential to ensure the community’s asset base remains in a good condition.

“I encourage everyone to get involved in the community engagement process and provide feedback on council’s proposal.”

The consultation period is open until January 19, 2019.

To provide feedback on the proposal, visit: camden.nsw.gov.au.