Other councillors have written about the process of Council developing its planning documents. This has already resulted in the publication of the Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020-2040. Further policies to come include the Local Environment Plan and the Development Control Plan which will have the greatest impact on development within the council area.
Another major policy that Council is about to start workshopping is a new rates and revenue policy. All merged councils are required to establish a new, equitable rating structure, and have it up and running by 1 July 2021. Hilltops Council is required to harmonise the three rating structures of the former Boorowa, Harden and Young council areas which are still currently in place.
This process will entail a significant level of community engagement. The engagement will seek to gain an understanding of the views of a broad part of the community and to explain the reasons for change and the impact thereof. It is currently anticipated that community engagement activities will take place between February and April next year. I encourage as many community members as possible to be involved with the process and have your say. There is no doubt that the quantum of rates paid will vary after 1 July in order to align the whole council area, so stay aware of the proposals and get involved in the process.
Speaking of involvement, it was great to see the enthusiasm for what was by necessity a watered down “Cherry Festival”. I commend those involved with the activities that did take place and just hope that next year we can get back to staging what is a truly great national event.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Christmas. May 2021 be a year to achieve great things in the Hilltops.
– Deputy Mayor Tony Wallace
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