Property Council commends the Council on the proposal to adapt and adjust the Annual Plan 2020-21 to help soften the economic impact of COVID-19 on the ratepayers, while ensuring provision of essential services and delivery of core infrastructure projects.
While we support the Annual Plan in principle, there are further changes that could be made to achieve a wider range of benefits for all in the long-term. Given the current environment of unprecedented uncertainty, we recommend:
- focus on core infrastructure and essential services during the recovery period, and reassess spending on other projects and services as part of the LTP 2021-31;
- maintain the UAGC as it currently stands;
- shift ownership of three waters to a CCO;
- take on more debt, especially for capital expenditure; and
- leverage the Government’s depreciation policy to support ratepayers and the property sector.
These actions are necessary to assist all ratepayers during the economic impact of COVID-19, as they have a big role to play in lifting our country out of recession during these uncertain times. These actions will also enable the Council to better support the recovery and provide essential services and much needed infrastructure now and in the future.