Banks demanded a 'quick turnround' to support Council - Why rate increase is necessary
While ratepayers across the Central Coast continue to argue the case against rate increases and property sales no one appears to have been listening to outgoing Administrator Dick Persson AM or the new Administrator Rik Hart in trying to understand the dire situation that the Council was driven to over the past two years.
That ratepayers continue to campaign against an increase of 15%, which IPART has approved but for only three years is an indicator of the irresponsible attitudes of politicians and activist groups who make unreasonable demands but refuse to accept the reality of the region's need for services and infrastructure, with support from the media.
With a toxic political atmosphere generated by all councillors the state government had already taken the position that this Council would not be bailed out. The whole organisation was totally isolated.
Mr Persson and Mr Hart (who is now Council Administrator) had to come to an understanding with the banks who were demanding:
Return the organisation to surplus by 1 July 2021, with a 10-year positive cashflow required to help pay back the unlawfully used funds;
- $60 million in asset sales to also help pay back unlawfully used internal & external restricted funds,
- Reduce operational expenses through staff reductions and a reduction in service levels ($70 million)
- Increase revenue Apply to IPART immediately for a 15% rate increase.
Under Mr Hart, Council has undergone a restructure that has seen over 500 positions (20%) deleted, with current vacancies, this resulted in approximately 250 staff leaving the organisation.