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Fair Go Rates System

The Victorian Government has established the Fair Go Rates System (FGRS), which is a framework limiting the maximum amount councils may increase rates in a year without seeking additional approvals. 

Rate capping has been introduced ‘to promote the long term interests of ratepayers and the community in relation to sustainable outcomes in the delivery of services and critical infrastructure’ and ‘to ensure that a Council has the financial capacity to perform its duties and functions and exercise its powers’. 

Each year the Minister for Local Government (the Minister) will set the rate cap that will specify the maximum increase in councils’ rates and charges for the forthcoming financial year. The Minister has the capacity to set a cap that applies to all councils, a group of councils or a single council.  The rate cap set by the Minister for 2016-17 is 2.5 per cent for all councils.

In circumstances where the rate cap is insufficient for a specific council’s needs, it can apply to the Essential Services Commission for a higher cap. The Commission will be receiving applications for a higher cap from councils for 2016-17 from 1 February to 31 March 2016. Applications will be published on the Commission’s website upon receipt. 

The Commission will endeavour to notify councils of its decision in respect of an application within two months of receipt.  All Commission decisions will be made public, including a statement of reasons explaining the decision. The Commission anticipates all decisions being completed by 31 May 2016. 

The Commission has published a media release with the list of councils that have notified the Commission of their intention to apply for a rate increase higher than the cap of 2.5 per cent set by the Minister for 2016-17. Click here to view media release. 

Under the FGRS, the Commission is responsible for:

  • providing advice to the Minister on the annual rate cap
  • assessing council applications for a higher cap
  • accepting or rejecting council applications for a higher cap
  • monitoring and reporting annually on councils’ compliance with the cap or approved higher cap
  • monitoring and reporting biennially on the overall outcomes in the sector arising from the FGRS, and
  • issuing guidance materials and guidelines on the implementation and administration of the FGRS

 

Publications for this project are listed below.

Associated Documents


City of Ballarat – Application for Higher Rate Cap (3)
04 Apr 2016 City of Ballarat – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 City of Ballarat – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Supporting Information
04 Apr 2016 City of Ballarat – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (4)
31 May 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Response to request for information – 10 year forecasts capital improvement program
04 Apr 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Supporting Information
04 Apr 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
Pyrenees Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (3)
04 Apr 2016 Pyrenees Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Pyrenees Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
04 Apr 2016 Pyrenees Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Supporting Information
Moorabool Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (5)
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for Highe Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachments 1-14
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachments 15-40
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachments 41-47
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
City of Greater Geelong – Application for Higher Rate Cap (2)
04 Apr 2016 City of Greater Geelong – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 City of Greater Geelong – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
Wyndham City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (2)
04 Apr 2016 Wyndham City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Wyndham City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
Horsham Rural City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (5)
04 Apr 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachment A
04 Apr 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
04 Apr 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachment B
04 Apr 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachment C
Towong Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (5)
04 Apr 2016 Towong Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Towong Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachments 1-8
04 Apr 2016 Towong Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachments 9-11
04 Apr 2016 Towong Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
04 Apr 2016 Towong Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Attachments 12-16
Buloke Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap (2)
04 Apr 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Application for Higher Rate – Budget Baseline Information Template
City of Casey – Application for Higher Rate Cap (4)
31 May 2016 City of Case – Budget baseline information template (updated)
04 Apr 2016 City of Casey – Application for Higher Rate Cap
04 Apr 2016 City of Casey – Application for Higher Rate Cap – Supporting Information
04 Apr 2016 City of Casey – Application for Higher Rate – Budget Baseline Information Template
Guidance and Information Requirements (4)
11 Dec 2015 Budget Baseline Information Template
11 Dec 2015 Annual Baseline Information Template
11 Dec 2015 Higher Cap – Application Cover Sheet (2016-17)
11 Dec 2015 The Fair Go Rates System Guidance for Councils (2016-17)
Fact Sheets (6)
11 Dec 2015 Fact Sheet 6 – Guidance for Councils
11 Dec 2015 Fact Sheet 5 – Council Autonomy
11 Dec 2015 Fact Sheet 4 – Next Steps
11 Dec 2015 Fact Sheet 3 – Monitoring and Public Reporting
11 Dec 2015 Fact Sheet 2 – Seeking A Higher Cap
11 Dec 2015 Fact Sheet 1 – The Rate Cap