What planning went into the decision by Council?

What planning went into the decision by Council?

November 2004- April 2005: Councillors and Council staff examined existing services and maintenance levels and identified shortfalls between community expectations and current budget restrictions.

During this process, the Long Term Financial Plan was developed identifying projects or services that required additional funding on a critical or unavoidable level.

April 2005: Councillors considered the highest priority list of funding requirements aimed at raising the delivery of services and facilities to "Best Value" standard. The highest priority projects on this list totalling approximately $ 2.9M each year.

16 May 2005: It was resolved in adopting the 2005/06 Draft Management Plan for public exhibition that

Council urgently consider options in relation to its Long Term financial position, including the provision of services, facilities and infrastructure, to ensure a sustainable organisation that seeks to deliver best value services and programs.

July - September: Council conducted community consultation to assist Councillors in determining priorities for the Long Term financial Plan.

The consultation process consisted of a series of eight Public Meetings together with Council officer presentations at audiences including Neighbourhood, Rural and Village Progress Associations and Community Groups.

Attendees at each meeting were asked to provide feedback and rank the categories of Council services that had been listed as a funding priority in the Long Term Financial Plan. The feedback form was also available on Council's website.

Community feedback indicated there was a strong expectation for increased maintenance levels in roads and parks, gardens and sportsgrounds. As a result, the alternative to reduce maintenance activities to match a shrinking budget was not an option.

October 31: Wagga Wagga City Councillors resolved to apply to the State Government for a Special Rate Variation.