Delivery Program & Operational Plan
  • Biggest capital spend ever for Council at $240M over 2 years
  • Small cash deficit of $0.5M
  • Major projects to be rolled out across the Shoalhaven
  • Visit a community meeting to find out more

Shoalhaven City Council has adopted the Delivery Program 2014/17 & Operational Plan 2015/16 (DPOP).

View the DPOP (PDF, 3.4MB)

The following information was used in the DPOP preparation.

Fact Sheets and Presentations

DPOP Fact Sheet

Commercial Rates Fact Sheet

Corporate and Community DPOP 2015 Presentation

Assets and Works DPOP 2015 Presentation

Planning and Development DPOP 2015 Presentation

Shoalhaven Water DPOP 2015 Presentation

Public Meetings

Meetings were held in:

  • Ulladulla Civic Centre on Thursday 30th April - 7pm

  • Vincentia High School on Wednesday 13th May - 7pm
    Please review the audio from this meeting, kindly provided by 2UUU Shoalhaven Community Radio.

    Part One - 1 hour 5 minutes, 15.4MB streaming audio

    Part Two - 1 hour 7 minutes, 15.7MB streaming audio

  • City Administrative Centre Nowra on Monday 11th May - 7pm

Key Highlights of the Program

This budget sees our biggest ever spend on capital - some $240M over 2 years on major water and sewer infrastructure, new footpaths, waterways infrastructure and a number of major road rehabilitations and resurfacing projects around the City with highlights including:

  • REMS1B - Upgrade of Nowra and Bomaderry Sewage Treatment Plants
  • Porters Creek dam remediation works
  • Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre
  • Nowra pool redevelopment
  • $6M Flinders Road
  • $1.26M wharf upgrade at Huskisson
  • $640K boat launching ramp at Sanctuary Point
  • $500K Nowra CBD
  • Bridge replacement at Jacobs Drive Sussex inlet
  • $420K reconstruction of Wallace Street, Nowra
  • $300K Bellevue Street, South Nowra
  • $500K Paradise Beach road, Sanctuary Point
  • $400K reconstruction of Golf Ave, Mollymook
  • $800K Camden Street, Ulladulla
  • $1.4M drainage projects with major works at Bomaderry, Lake Tabourie and Sussex Inlet
  • $3M sealing and widening of Turpentine Road
  • $6M Flinders Road improved access and widening

The extensive path construction program will see important major works at Matron Porter drive (Milton) and Orion Beach, with some key smaller projects at Terrara St (Greenwell Point), River Road (Lake Tabourie), Mathews St (Shoalhaven Heads) and North Nowra.

There is also a special rate variation application for Jerberra Estate which has been included in the forward projections following consultation with landowners which includes a $7M spend on major road & infrastructure upgrades. These works will see rates for the landowners in the Jerberra estate increase significantly. A decision is expected from IPART mid-May on whether this can proceed.

As previously announced the Delivery Program also contains an indication of plans to meet the 'Fit for the Future' benchmarks set by the State Government to be submitted in June including a special rate variation in the next term of Council to help meet a $13.5M gap in operating result.

The draft rates also include a reduction of 30% for the Nowra CBD rate payers (356 rate payers). These reductions in this rate revenue is proposed to be made up by an increase of 20.6% to the rates charged for the 1572 properties categorised as 'business'.

Did you know?

  • The Shoalhaven has one of the lowest rate base of any other Council in its group (which includes Maitland, Tweed, Wollongong, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour) with an average of $967 per annum; and is one of the lowest in the region.
  • State Government cost shifting costs Council between $6-10M per year.
  • The Federal Government has also introduced a 3 year freeze on the annual financial assistance grants that will see council lose close to $1.2 million in revenue.
  • Council has one of the largest local government areas on the coast with roads and services required for 49 geographically spread towns and villages.

Fit for the Future

Council has commenced to show its plan for how it intends to meet the State Government's mandated 'Fit for the Future' process as part of the DPOP exhibition. The full list of strategies will form the basis of a report to go to Council in May.

The State Government has set 7 benchmarks which councils across the state have to meet to ensure they are classified by an independent panel as being 'fit for the future' and able to continue to deliver the services expected from communities in NSW.

Councils that are not considered to meet these criteria are already being slated for mergers with other councils.

Plans show that there is a long term strategy to meet the benchmarks placing the Shoalhaven in a good position to continue into the future. Currently Council meets 3 of the 7 benchmarks but there is a lot more work to be done towards ticking off all the criteria including a $13.5M gap in operating result.

To do this Council is looking at both the revenue and expenditure sides of the table. There has been a lot achieved over the past 2 years with reductions in expenditure totalling $4.4M and the targeted operational savings for 2015/16 increases to $5.5 million. There is a continued push for further productivity and efficiency savings across the organisation.

What is also being proposed is a 5% rate rise (above rate pegging) for three years from 2017 to 2019. Without that the $13.5M gap will need to be filled by cutting services.

To paint the picture of what that means Council would need to close some or all of our pools, tennis courts, community halls, sporting fields, centralise our library and drop other community services like the immunisation program - and we still may not even reach the $13.5M mark.

Whilst this will form part of the 'Fit for the Future' application it will be the next term of council that will make a final decision on rating levels needed in the future years.

Council is required to submit its final submission about how it intends to be 'Fit for the Future' to the State Government in June this year.

Changes in the Budget

  • Forecast Rate increase above rate peg from 2017/18 to 2019/20 at 5% per annum for the 3 years – ie 15% cumulative
  • Some new fees and charges and increases on others above CPI
  • Transformation and operational savings of almost $6m
  • Reduction in interest on investments and borrowings
  • Increased focus on renewal of existing assets
  • Life cycle costing of assets

Revenue & Expenses –General Fund

Other Revenue – Fines, rents, legal Fee recovery, dividends, waste levy refunds, library etc Other Expenditure – Insurance, waste levy, Electricity, computer maintenance, telephones etc

What’s driving a deficit?

  • Council’s revenue is restricted by the rate peg set by IPART
  • Fees and Charges – not fully cost recovered in all instances
  • Cost shifting from Federal and State Government is increasing Council Expenditure
  • Over the past 5 years rate-pegging increases have totalled 19.1% (14.5% without special rate)
  • Over the same period, Council expenses have risen:
    • Building Materials/index 18.7%
    • Electricity 41.1%
    • Street lighting 41.8%
    • Insurance 21.2%
    • Roads expenditure 55.3%

Restricted Assets


Rate Changes

  • IPART have determined a rate increase of 2.4% for 2014/2015
  • Council has applied this to all areas other than Nowra CBD and other Business (excluding Ulladulla Business category)
  • 30% reduction in Nowra CBD and 20.6% increase in other Business category

Rate Change Example

  2014/2015 2015/2016 %Change
General Rates ($177,000 Valuation) $853.96 $874.45 2.40%
Domestic Waste Management Charge (120 litre) $281.00 $294.00 4.63%
Storm Water Charge $25.00 $25.00 0%
Total Charges $1,159.96 $1,193.45 2.89%

Use the Rate Calculator to determine your rates charges.

How does this compare to other Councils?

  14/15 Rate Inc 15/16 Rate Inc Avg Rates 14/15 Avg Rates 15/16
Kiama 2.30% 2.40% $1,251 $1,281
Wollongong 2.30% 2.40% $1,103 $1,129
Wingecarribee 2.30% 2.40% $1,087 $1,113
Shellharbour 2.30% 2.40% $1,002 $1,026
Bega 2.30% 2.40% $872 $893
Shoalhaven 2.30% 2.40% $822 $841
Eurobodella 2.30% 2.40% $754 $772





Affordability of Rates

Council 2012/2013 Average Rates Average Household Income # Ratio At 1.8% Differntial
Shoalhaven $803.29 $50,363 1.60% $906.53 $103.24
Coffs Harbour $837.67 $54,077 1.55% $973.39 $135.72
Mailtland $939.12 $72,514 1.30% $1,305,25 $366.13
Port Macquarie $988.14 $52,167 1.89% $939.01 -$49.13
Lake Macquarie $997.31 $57,304 1.74% $1,031.47 $34.16
Wollongong $1077.96 $65,926 1.64% $1,186.67 $108.71
Tweed $1167.26 $51,220 2.28% $921.96 -$245.30

Commercial Rate Changes

Nowra CBD Business rates are proposed to decrease approximately 30% for 2015/16 while business rates for all other locations across the City (excluding Ulladulla) are set to increase by approximately 20%.

Following presentations by James Caldwell, representing the Nowra CBD Commercial Ratepayers Association, at the Council meeting Council supported a Motion from Councillor Guile to put the proposed changes to Business rates on public exhibition. The Motion was carried 6 votes to 5 votes.

Council's decision comes after 2 years of continual lobbying from Nowra CBD ratepayers with claims that the higher rates in Nowra can no longer be justified. The current rates in the Nowra CBD are at a much higher level than other business areas and it becomes a question of how big that difference should be given that Nowra CBD does benefit from higher levels of services.

The proposed new rates will still see Nowra CBD rates about double other business rates in towns including Berry, Huskisson, Sanctuary Point, Bomaderry and South Nowra.

The proposed rates are explained in the following tables:

Category Sub Category Number of Assessments Average Rate Before change Average Rate After change Movement
Residential   51,528 $991 $991  
Residential Non Urban 1,103 $69 $69  
Farmland   844 $2,032 $2,032  
Farmland Dairy Farmers 125 $1,556 $1,556  
Business Commercial/ Industrial 1,572 $1,696 $2,045 +$348
Business Nowra 356 $5,122 $3,586 -$1,537
Business Ulladulla 128 $3,062 $3,062  
Business Permit 175 $37 $37  

For a property with a Valuation of $10,000

Low General Rates 2014/15 General Rates 2015/16
Business Nowra 584.95 563.71
Business (other) comm /indust 515.82 536.07

For a property with a Valuation of $500,000

Mid General Rates 2014/15 General Rates 2015/16
Business Nowra 5,482.30 3,915.75
Business (other) comm /indust 2,026.20 2,534.00

For a property with a Valuation of $9,000,000

High General Rates 2014/15 General Rates 2015/16
Business Nowra 90,436.40 62,063.40
Business (other) comm /indust 28,226.60 37,191.90

This isn't 'locked in' and the final decision of Council will be guided by community submissions and further analysis of the present disparity.

Use the Commercial Rate Calculator to determine your rates charges.

Pathway to a Sustainable Council

  • Continue down Transformation Path
  • Organisational Culture
  • Customer Service
  • Project Management
  • Service Reviews
  • More effective use of technology
  • Sustainability
  • Lean

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(02) 4429 3111
P.O. Box 42, Nowra NSW 2541 Australia
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