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Rate rise options proposed for Port Stephens

14 September 2022

Port Stephens Council has endorsed the exhibition of its draft Integrated Planning and Reporting documents which include modelling of a potential rate rise.

General Manager Tim Crosdale said that exhibition of these documents provides further opportunity for our community to give feedback on how to strike the balance between increasing costs and decreasing revenue.

“We know from our engagement to date that our community supports a financially sustainable Council.  We also know that there's a good understanding that our low residential rates can't continue to support the level of services we offer,” Mr Crosdale said.

“For the past month, we've been talking to residents across Port Stephens. We've presented 5 rate options and asked for feedback on how best to move forward. This has helped us drill down to 2 options that we've incorporated into our statutory planning documents.

“The draft planning documents include options for increasing revenue outside of a rate rise by increasing fees and charges, sourcing external grant funding and working with Councillors and the community on the sale of underperforming land.

“We’ve listened to our community’s feedback and the draft plans don't include the removal of the residential paid parking exemption,” he added.

The 2 rate rise options are both permanent and would commence on 1 July 2023. Both options include the standard annual rate rise which is currently capped at 2.5%.

Councils Chief Financial Officer Tim Hazell said the 2 options provide different outcomes for the community.

“Under the Single Year Scenario, ratepayers would pay more up front but less over time. Council would achieve a balanced budget in 1 year.  We'd be able to immediately deliver improvements to our services,” Mr Hazell said.

“Under the Independent Recommendation Scenario, ratepayers pay less each year but more over time. Council would reach its target in 3 years and the community would see a gradual enhancement of services.

“Both options see the predicted budget shortfall eliminated and provide additional funds for enhanced services.

“These additional funds will allow Council to invest in the community priorities we’ve been hearing like road maintenance, condition of our public spaces, and protecting our waterways and natural environment,” he added.

Mayor Ryan Palmer said we know some of our community will find it hard.

“As part of the planning documents we've also proposed a range of additional affordability measures to support those most vulnerable,” Mayor Palmer said.

“The community can have their say from 14 September via a short survey, written submission or by attending one of the many face to face drop in session held across Port Stephens,” he added.

The rate rise options are:

  • Independent Recommendation Scenario – cumulative 34.92% rate increase
    10.5% increase each year, for 3 years
  • Single Year Scenario – 26% rate increase
    26% increase for 1 year

The draft Integrated Planning and Reporting documents will be on public exhibition from 9am, 14 September to 5pm, 12 October 2022 and include the:

  • Delivery Program 2022 to 2026 and Operational Plan 2023 to 2024
  • Resourcing Strategy 2023 to 2033 (incorporating the Workforce Management Strategy 2022 to 2026, Long Term Financial Plan 2023 to 2033 and Strategic Asset Management Plan 2023 to 2033)
  • Proposed Additional Affordability Measures

Drop in sessions:




Tuesday 27 September

From 5:00pm

Riverside Park, Raymond Terrace

Wednesday 29 September

From 5:00pm

Boyd Oval, Medowie

Saturday 1 October

From 5:00pm

Apex Park, Nelson Bay

Tuesday 4 October

3pm to 4pm

Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre

Tuesday 4 October

4:30pm to 5:30pm

Salamander Bay Shopping Centre

Thursday 6 October

9am to 10am

Raymond Terrace Market Place

Thursday 6 October


Medowie - TBA

View the documents online and share your thoughts at portstephens.nsw.gov.au/rate-rise-options or visit the Council administration building or your local library.