Fit for the future

The NSW Government established its Fit for the Future Program in 2014 where all councils in NSW needed to identify how they would comply with a range of financial criteria to demonstrate that they were financially sustainable. In responding to this program, Ballina Shire Council submitted a proposal to increase the general rate income above the standard rate pegging limit for a three year period from 2017/18 to 2019/2020. The proposal was submitted to IPART and Ballina Shire Council was identified as Fit for the Future. Both submission and determination documents are available below :

Local government reform began in late 2011 when councils from throughout NSW came together for Destination 2036 to discuss their long-term future. The gathering considered how communities, economies and technologies might change over the next 25 years and how the local government sector might change to meet these challenges.

These steps culminated in the development of the Fit for the Future concept. As part of this process Council was required to look at its operations and capacity for financial sustainability, and then to complete a Council Merger Proposal or Council Improvement Proposal. We chose to complete a Council Improvement Proposal.

All NSW councils were asked to submit a plan to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) outlining how they would become Fit for the Future.

  • To view all NSW council Fit for the Future submissions, visit the IPART website

Like many councils across NSW, Council faces the challenge of how to best maintain services and ageing infrastructure – the cost of which is rising faster than Council’s income.

Following the August 2017 Meeting, Ballina Shire Council resolved to proceed with community consultation on a special rate variation proposal (SRV) above the rate peg set by the NSW Government.

The proposed rate increase was approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), for 2018/19 and 2019/20. The total special rate variation is  a 9.1% increase for 2018/19 and a 5.9% increase for 2019/20 (including a rate peg of 2.3% and an estimated 2.5% respectively), which will be a cumulative rate increase of 15.54%.

Special Rate Variation 2018/19 and 2019/20

The income from the rate increase has allowed Council to renew key infrastructure such as roads, stormwater, playgrounds, and community buildings in a timelier manner and to fund the healthy waterways program.

For more detailed information, please review the links below.

Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) NSW 

IPART provides independent regulatory decisions and advice to protect the ongoing interests of the consumers, taxpayers and citizens of NSW. 

Financial and Operational Documents 

As part of the public consultation process, Council re-exhibited the Delivery Program/Operational Plan from September to October 2017.

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Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

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40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


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