Fairfield rate rise under review

THE Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has started to assess a Fairfield Council application to increase its rates by 10 per cent from July 1.

The increase includes the rate peg increase for 2014-15 of 2.3 per cent as well as the permanent continuation of a special variation of 5 per cent which is due to expire on June 30.

IPART chairman Peter Boxall said all applications would be assessed according to state-government guidelines.

"The assessment criteria include demonstrating the need for and the purpose of the additional revenue, evidence of community engagement and awareness and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers," Dr Boxall said.

"Councils need to provide evidence that their communities are aware of the need for and the extent of a rate rise."

The Fairfield Council website said the proposed increase means that the average residential rates will go up by $40.

It also listed a range of extra projects to be funded specifically through the special rate increase, including the Fairfield library expansion, Prairiewood Leisure water park, sportsgrounds and upgrades to Fairfield Heights and Cabramatta town centres.

Fairfield Council is one of 32 councils across NSW to apply for a special rate variation to increase rates for 2014-15.

Interested groups and ratepayers can make submissions directly to IPART until March 24.

Details: ipart.nsw.gov.au.

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