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2016-17 Higher Cap Applications

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. 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.

In considering whether to approve a higher cap, the Commission will have regard to:

  • the proposed higher cap and the specified year(s) that it will apply
  • the reasons for which the council seeks the higher cap
  • how the views of ratepayers and the community have been taken into account in proposing the higher cap
  • how the higher cap is an efficient use of council resources and represents value for money
  • whether consideration has been given to reprioritising proposed expenditures and alternative funding options and why the council does not consider those options to be adequate
  • that the assumptions and proposals in the application are consistent with the council’s long term strategy and financial management policies set out in the council’s planning documents and annual budget.

The Commission has released its decisions on the 2016-17 higher cap applications.

We asked Mr Peter Brown (former CEO of Moreland City Council) to undertake a fully independent review of the Commission’s process and approach for assessing higher cap applications for 2016-17 year (Terms of Reference). The findings from the review embody the independent judgements of its author and will assist the Commission in planning and preparing for future higher cap applications from councils. Mr Brown completed his review and submitted his report on 28 September 2016.

The Commission will now carefully study its findings and recommendations with the view to refine our process and approach for future higher cap applications from councils. We have now released our response to the report.

Associated Documents


Overview and Questions & Answers (2)
31 May 2016 Approving higher caps – Questions and Answers
City of Ballarat – Application for higher rate cap (9)
31 May 2016 Ballarat City Council – Response to request for information – LGPRF Performance Indicator Projections
31 May 2016 Ballarat City Council – Budget Baseline Information (updated)
31 May 2016 Ballarat City Council – Responses to request for information
31 May 2016 Ballarat City Council – Response to request for information – Financial Strategy
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on City of Ballarat (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 City of Ballarat – Application for higher rate cap
04 Apr 2016 City of Ballarat – Application for higher rate cap – Budget Baseline Information Template
04 Apr 2016 City of Ballarat – Application for higher rate cap – supporting information
Horsham Rural City Council – Application for higher rate cap (10)
31 May 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Responses to request for information
31 May 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Special Order
31 May 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Budget Baseline information template (updated)
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Horsham Rural City Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 Horsham Rural City Council – Application for higher rate cap
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 A
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
Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap (7)
31 May 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Special Order
31 May 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Responses to request for information
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Murrindindi Shire Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap
04 Apr 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap – Budget baseline information template
04 Apr 2016 Murrindindi Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap – Supporting information
Moorabool Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap (11)
31 May 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Responses to request for information
31 May 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Special Order
31 May 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Response to request for information – Income statement and capital program variances
31 May 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Response to request for information – Council profile extended analysis
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Moorabool Shire Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap
04 Apr 2016 Moorabool Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap – Budget baseline information template
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
Wyndham City Council – Application for higher rate cap (6)
31 May 2016 Wyndham City Council – Responses to request for information (part B)
31 May 2016 Wyndham City Council – Responses to request for information (part A)
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Wyndham City Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 Wyndham City Council – Application for higher rate cap – Budget baseline information template
04 Apr 2016 Wyndham City Council – Application for higher rate cap
Buloke Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap (7)
31 May 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Budget Baseline Information (updated)
31 May 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Special Order
31 May 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Responses to request for information
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Buloke Shire Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap
04 Apr 2016 Buloke Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap – Budget baseline information template
Pyrenees Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap (8)
31 May 2016 Pyrenees Shire Council – Special Order
31 May 2016 Pyrenees Shire Council – Budget baseline information template (updated)
31 May 2016 Pyrenees Shire Council – Responses to request for information
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Pyrenees Shire Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
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
Towong Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap (10)
31 May 2016 Towong Shire Council – Special Order
31 May 2016 Towong Shire Council – Budget baseline information template
31 May 2016 Towong Shire Council – Responses to request for information
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on Towong Shire Council (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 Towong Shire Council – Application for higher rate cap
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 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 – Attachments 12-16
City of Casey – Application for higher rate cap (9)
31 May 2016 City of Casey – Responses to follow-up questions
31 May 2016 City of Casey – Responses to request for information (part C)
31 May 2016 City of Casey – Responses to request for information (part B)
31 May 2016 City of Casey – Responses to request for information (part A)
18 May 2016 Financial advice provided on City of Casey (prepared by Deloitte Access Economics)
04 Apr 2016 City of Casey – Application for higher rate cap
04 Apr 2016 City of Casey – Application for higher rate cap – Budget baseline information template
04 Apr 2016 City of Casey – Application for higher rate cap – Supporting Information