Latest Updates

Father with his two children sitting in front of a laptop
Early childhood education and care review update

Our Interim Report will be published on 20 October 2023.

Registrations are now open to join our online public hearing on Monday 30 October 2023 from 10:30am to 1pm to give feedback on the Interim Report draft findings and draft recommendations.

You will also be able to provide feedback via our survey or make a submission in response by 17 November.

Deborah Cope
Tribunal Member Deborah Cope to Retire

Chair Carmel Donnelly PSM announced earlier this year that Tribunal member Deborah Cope will retire in October.

"I would like to thank her for her service to NSW as a Tribunal member and pay tribute to her significant contribution," said Ms Donnelly.

A woman with a small female child doing arts and crafts
Independent Market Monitoring Review

We've published a paper setting out how we propose to undertake our market monitoring review of the childcare sector market.

We welcome your feedback specifically on the measures and performance indicators proposed in our methodology paper.

You can do this by making a submission by 3 October 2023.

Aerial photograph of a Dam in New South Wales
WaterNSW Operating Licence review

We have released an Issues Paper and are seeking feedback on potential changes to the WaterNSW Operating Licence.

Stakeholders, including WaterNSW customers who use their services are invited to make comment on the issues we have identified and anything else that matters to them.

What are Special Variations

A council can apply to IPART for a Special Variation to the rate peg which will be considered against the guidelines set by the NSW Office of Local Government, including the level of community awareness and how efficiently the council has been managing its finances. Council requests for Special Variations are often in order to develop or maintain essential community services or regional projects. IPART can grant a general income variation for a single year or up to seven years. Over that time the council can set its own rates and fees as long as its total general income from those sources stays within the agreed increase.

How can the community engage with IPART?

We will publish the applications for a special variation in 2024-25 on our website around February 2024. Members of the community will be able to view and make comment on the proposals in the applications during February and March 2024. We will upload a fact sheet soon that provides more information on how the community can engage with the 2024-25 special variations process. In the meantime, please refer to our fact sheet from 2023-24.

How special variation applications are assessed

IPART requires councils to actively engage residents in discussions about the proposed increase above the rate peg. Councils can do this with public hearings and other community engagement tools that suit their population. IPART will consider how effective each council’s community inclusion has been before determining its application to increase charges above the set rate. Councils need to show IPART there is:

  • a demonstrated need for higher increases to charges
  • community awareness of their plans
  • a reasonable impact on ratepayers
  • a process to exhibit relevant council documents to the public
  • a history of well-documented council productivity improvements and cost containment strategies

In addition to the council’s evidence, we will assess any other information we consider relevant, including letters from ratepayers. Further information regarding the assessment criteria can be accessed here. IPART can wholly or partially approve or reject a council’s application. Our reasons will be published on our website. The 2023-24 special variation decisions are available here. The 2024-25 special variation application forms will be published soon.