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2017/18 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’s rate cap for the 2017/18 rating year is 2 per cent. 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.

For the 2017/18 rating year councils have until 31 May 2017 to apply for a higher cap. We received five applications which are below.

  Higher cap being sought (including Minister’s rate cap)
Council 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Hindmarsh Shire Council  4%  na  na  na
Pyrenees Shire Council  3.5%  3.5%  na  na
Borough of Queenscliffe  4.5%  na  na  na
Towong Shire Council  5.55%  5.55%  5.55%  5.55%
West Wimmera Shire Council  3.5%  3.5%  3.5%  3.5%

The Commission will endeavour to notify councils of its decision in respect of an application within two months of receipt.

Associated Documents


Borough of Queenscliffe (4)
31 May 2017 Borough of Queenscliffe – Higher cap application – Appendices G to P
31 May 2017 Borough of Queenscliffe – Higher cap application – Appendices Q to Y
31 May 2017 Borough of Queenscliffe – Higher cap application (including Appendices A to F)
31 May 2017 Borough of Queenscliffe – Higher cap application – Annual Report 2016
Towong Shire Council (4)
31 May 2017 Towong Shire Council – Higher cap application
31 May 2017 Towong Shire Council – Higher cap application – Appendices 1-5
31 May 2017 Towong Shire Council – Higher cap application – Appendices 6-10
31 May 2017 Towong Shire Council – Higher cap application – Appendices 11-15
Pyrenees Shire Council (11)
29 May 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Final Decision 2017
29 May 2017 Media Release – Commission approves Pyrenees application for higher cap
29 May 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Special Order
29 May 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Assistance with review of 2017-18 rate cap application (prepared by MosaicLab)
29 May 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Assistance with review of 2017-18 rate cap application (prepared by KJA)
29 May 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Assistance with review of 2017-18 rate cap application (prepared by Deloitte)
17 Apr 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Higher cap application – Budget Baseline Information Template
29 Mar 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Higher Cap Application – Appendices A-H
29 Mar 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Higher cap application – Appendices I-P (excluding appendix O)
29 Mar 2017 Pyrenees Shire Council – Higher Cap Application – Appendix O
West Wimmera Shire Council (3)
23 May 2017 West Wimmera Shire Council – Higher cap application
23 May 2017 West Wimmera Shire Council – Higher cap application attachments
23 May 2017 West Wimmera Shire Council – Higher cap application – Budget Baseline Information Template
Hindmarsh Shire Council (5)
17 May 2017 Hindmarsh Shire Council – Higher Cap Application
17 May 2017 Hindmarsh Shire Council – Higher cap application – Budget Baseline Information Template
17 May 2017 Hindmarsh Shire Council – Higher Cap Application – Appendices 1-3
17 May 2017 Hindmarsh Shire Council – Higher Cap Application – Appendices 4-6
17 May 2017 Hindmarsh Shire Council – Higher Cap Application – Appendices 8-10