Farmers reject proposed SRV

08th Mar 2023

The Guyra Branch of the NSW Farmers have unanimously rejected Armidale Regional Council’s proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV). ARC have applied to the  Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)  for an average 50% rate increase over the next three years
The farmers are concerned about the implications of the SRV application, which comes on top of rate Harmonisation adjustments that will increase the rates of some Guyra landholders by 198%.
They also say that Council has not demonstrated a capacity to extract productivity gains from council service delivery with the rates it currently collects and that the consultation was ‘underwhelming’.
“Council has not considered appropriately the capacity of the rural landholders to pay,” Branch Secretary James Jackson said.
“The rate grab is opportunistic with some commodity prices buoyant during the last couple of years.
“However the capacity to pay, if terms of trade is considered over the last decade, is quite problematic.
“Cattle prices have come back 30% recently to demonstrate how lumpy rural income is.
“We believe that it is important that Council is accountable to ensure productivity is maximised.
“A lot of the consultation was timed around Christmas, where farmers are otherwise busy.
“Real consultation requires listening to issues like capacity to pay and productivity and responding to what they hear.”
The Guyra branch has made a submission to IPART opposing the rate rise.
The deadline for submissions was March 3, and the decision is scheduled to made public on May 9.