A local council might determine that a special rate variation is the most appropriate way to fund the Delivery Program commitments in order to achieve community outcomes. In applying for a special rate variation, the council will need to demonstrate how it’s Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program support and justify this option. In short, the council should have:

  • modelled the special rate variation as one of the scenarios in the Long-Term Financial Plan to demonstrate what would be achieved by the rate variation
  • held discussions with the community about service levels and funding priorities and, with the community, determined that a rate variation is the best way to achieve financial sustainability
  • documented the proposed rate variation in its Integrated Planning and Reporting documents to demonstrate how the income would achieve its Delivery Program commitments and enhance community outcomes.
  • documented the community engagement process and its outcomes which informed the council’s decision to proceed with a rate variation application to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).