Respondents favour Wollongong rate rise

The furore over Wollongong City Council’s financial review appears to have waned during the holiday season, with just 90 people completing a poll about options for service cuts and rate rises.

The survey is part of the latest round of community consultation over the controversial review, through which the council hopes to find an extra $21 million in its annual budget.

Residents have been asked to choose between three budget scenarios, which each have different combinations of rate rises, service cuts, fee hikes and efficiencies.

Despite the low participation so far, a clear trend has emerged showing half the respondents would prefer the council to adopt the third budget scenario.

The scenario reads: ‘‘More significant rate rise, efficiencies with low impact on services and staff’’.

Twenty-nine per cent of the respondents have selected the second option of ‘‘limited service cuts, moderate fee and rate rise, efficiencies including some outsourcing’’.

Only 21 per cent have opted for the first scenario, which would include the ‘‘citizen’s panel recommendations including service cuts and outsourcing, moderate fee rise, [and a] small rate rise’’.

In a previous feedback round, where residents were asked to comment on suggestions put forward by a citizens focus group, the council received a total of 624 submissions.

This included 333 emails and letters and 291 online survey responses. There were also three petitions and 52 comments on an online discussion forum.

Residents can have their say on the budget options by completing the quick poll, filling in a submission form, or sending an email.

They can also write a letter to the council’s general manager.

All feedback must be received by the council by 5pm on Wednesday, February 5.



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