What is the Delivery Program and Operational Plan?

    The Delivery Program sets out the work that Council will undertake over each four year Council term, to deliver on the community outcomes and strategies of the North Sydney Community Strategic Plan 2018-2028.

    The Draft 2020/21 Operational Plan & Budget is a subset of Council’s Delivery Program 2018/19- 2021/22, detailing the activities (projects and services) that will be undertaken in Year 3 of the Delivery Program. 

    While the content of the Delivery Program and the Operational Plan are largely the same, the Delivery Program is presented by Strategic view (i.e. by the Strategic Directions of the Community Strategic Plan) and the Operational Plan is presented by Divisional view (i.e. in accordance with the organisational structure). 

    Section 405 of the Local Government Act 1993 requires that each annual Operational Plan be prepared in accordance with the following requirements: 

    • is exhibited prior to adoption, for a minimum period of 28 days - submissions are accepted during the exhibition period and considered prior to adopting the final plan; 
    • includes a statement of revenue policy, including maps showing the parts of the Council area to which each category and sub-category of the ordinary rate and each special rate applies - the Draft 2020/21 Revenue Policy is included at Appendix 1;  
    • is adopted before the beginning of each financial year (however due to COVID-19 this has been extended to 31 July 2020); and 
    • the final plan is available from Council’s website within 28 days of adoption.


    What are the key projects Council is proposing to deliver in 2020/21?

    Due to the financial impacts of COVID-19, the 2020/21 Capital Works Program has been reduced by $3.8 million to offset the reduction in income. This means we will have less funds available for infrastructure projects such as the resurfacing of North Sydney Oval and implementation of the Stanton Library Masterplan. These projects will be deferred to future years. 

    Appendix 2 details the Capital Works Program for 2020/21. Regardless of the reduction to the Capital Works Program, highlights (determined by highest dollar value) include continued implementation of the Local Area Traffic Management Plans formerly TAPAS), commencement of the North Sydney Olympic Pool complex redevelopment and Hume Street Park open space expansion projects, and implementation of the St Leonards Park Masterplan.

    The Operational Plan is presented in accordance with  the organisational structure), this shows the projects and services that each Department will deliver during 2020/21. 

    How has COVID-19 impacted Council's financial position and operations?

    Council is cognizant of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the organisation and the community. Council responded with a business support package, despite incurring significant losses in doing so. Notwithstanding, we need to be mindful and realistic of Council’s limited resources and the impact of COVID-19 responses on Council’s capacity to maintain infrastructure and long-term financial sustainability. 

    The emerging and rapidly changing State legislation and policy response to COVID-19 raises substantial risk to Council’s budget. Deferral of the rate due date by one month, waivers on the interest on arrears for six months and currently mooted potential deferrals to infrastructure charges raises significant risks for Council’s cash flow and total revenue collections in 2020/21. 

    COVID-19 has impacted Council’s revenue in the final four months of 2019/20. Operating revenue for the year was forecast to fall by $6.6 million (approximately 5%).  

    As reported to Council, this has necessitated a $7.9 million reduction to forecast revenue for the year compared to that originally allowed for in the previous version of the Resourcing Strategy.  The revenue streams most significantly impacted are: 

    • On-street parking $3,805,000;  
    • Property rental $1,090,000;  
    • Off-street parking $852,000;  
    • North Sydney Olympic Pool fees $584,000;  
    • Parking fines (net of processing costs) $394,000;  
    • Outdoor Seating rental fees $390,000;  
    • North Sydney Oval Function Centre takings $326,000;  
    • Parks Hire fees $266,000; and 
    • Shop Inspection fees $105,000.

    To partially mitigate the impact on revenue, funding allocated to the capital expenditure program in 2020/21 has been reduced by $3.8 million.

    For more information refer to the Amended Resourcing Strategy concurrently on public exhibition Appendix 2 of the amended strategy, assumes that the impact of COVID-19 continues until the end of December 2020, forecasting a net operating surplus of $2.6 million for 2020/21. Excluding capital grants and contributions, a deficit of $2.4 million is forecast.

    The amended strategy includes two additional scenarios modelled to ascertain the financial impact of the pandemic lasting for a shorter or longer period than that assumed under the base case (referred to as Scenario 3A).  

    Scenario 3B, takes an optimistic approach and assumes that the financial impact of the pandemic will continue only until the end of the September quarter of 2020/21. Should the impact of COVID-19 last only until the end of September 2020, as assumed under Scenario 3B, the net operating surplus is forecast to improve to $6.3 million. Excluding capital grants and contributions, a surplus of $1.2 million is forecast.  This scenario would increase the level of funds available for capital projects in subsequent years of the plan.

    Scenario 3C, takes a more conservative approach and assumes that the financial impact of the pandemic will continue for the whole of 2020/21. Should the impact of COVID-19 last for the entire 2020/21 financial year, as assumed under Scenario 3C, the net operating result is forecast to deteriorate to a deficit of $4.8 million.  Excluding capital grants and contributions, a deficit of $9.9 million is forecast.  This scenario would significantly reduce the amount of funds available for capital projects in subsequent years of the plan.



    How are rates determined?

    From 1 July 2020, all NSW councils will use the latest land valuations (conducted in 2019) to determined the 2020/21 rates. 

    New land values are issued every three years. As Council's overall rates income is limited by rate pegging and any approved special rate variation to rates income, an increase (or decrease) in your land value does not necessarily mean a corresponding increase (or decrease) in your rates.

    All rateable land within the North Sydney local government area is categorised as either residential or business. Council decides which category your property should be in based on its dominant use. The majority of properties are charged ordinary rates under the residential category.

    For more information refer to Council's website.

    Why is Council continuing with the SRV during COVID-19?

    The decision to apply for a rate increase in the first instance, and the subsequent decision to continue with the increase during the COVID-19 pandemic was not taken lightly, but is considered the most responsible course to improve the organization's financial sustainability. 

    If Council was not to continue with the SRV the infrastructure asset backlog would continue to increase and we would not be able to continue to provide the high level of serviced demanded by the community. Rates remain low comparative to neighbouring council areas and property values.

    IPART’s SRV determination (13 May 2019) regarding the overall assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers noted that they "consider the impact of the proposed SV on ratepayers would be reasonable given:

    • The Council’s need for the additional funding to address its infrastructure backlog;
    •  The Council’s proposed average rates with the SV would appear to be reasonable compared to the estimated average rate levels for OLG Group 3 councils over the proposed SV period; and
    • The community’s capacity to pay given its SEIFA ranking indicates a higher level of advantage compared to its surrounding councils."

    What assistance is there if I am struggling to pay my rates?

    Refer to Council's Financial Hardship Policy for more information or contact Council on 9936 8100 to discuss a payment arrangement. 

    In accordance with State Government legislation introduced in response to COVID-19,  from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020 the maximum interest rate applicable on overdue rates and charges will be 0%, then 7% per annum for the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, in accordance with Council's 2020/21 Draft Revenue Policy - refer to Appendix 1 of the Draft 2020/21 Operational Plan & Budget.

    Will the Domestic Waste Management Charge increase?

    The Domestic Waste Management Charge (DWMC) funds waste and recycling service and free household clean up service. It will increase by $4 to $404.00 in 2020/21. Pensioner discounts remain 50% of the standard DWMC, therefore the cost will be $202 (a $2 increase on 2019/20).

    How much are my rates increasing?