Local Government
Special Variations Minimum Rates

Special Variations & Minimum Rates 2018-19

In progress
Start Date
Nov 2017
Determinations announced
May 2018

A special rate variation allows a council to increase its general income above the rate peg, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW). 

Special variations can be for one or several years, and can be temporary or permanently retained in the rate base. 

A Minimum Rate Variation application is for local councils seeking to increase minimum rate levels above the statutory limit. 


All NSW councils apart from new councils are eligible to apply for a 2018-19 special variation. 

New councils (except for Mid-Coast Council) are not permitted to apply for a special or minimum rate variation for 2018-19. 


The Office of Local Government has released its Guidelines for the preparation of an application for a special variation to general income and for an application to increase minimum rates.

IPART assesses applications against a set of criteria outlined in the Office of Local Government’s Guidelines. 

Fact Sheets

The following fact sheets may assist councils in preparing their 2018-19 applications: 

What Next

Councils intending to apply for a special rate variation or minimum rate increase were asked to notify IPART of their intention to apply by 15 December 2017 via our Council Portal.             

15 Councils notified IPART and these notifcation letters can be viewed by selecting a Council's name in the Councils & Applications tab.

Councils are required to complete Application Forms as part of their application.  Below are the 2018-19 Application Forms:

Special Variations Application Form - Part A and Application Form - Part B

Minimum Rates Application Form - Part A and Application Form - Part B

Application Timeline

Date Outcomes
15 December 2017  Notifications for Special Variation or Minimum Rates applications due 
12 February 2018 Special Variation applications due 
12 March 2018 Minimum Rate Variation applications due 
15 May 2018 Determinations announced for Special Variations and Minimum Rate Variations 

We will accept public submissions for 4 weeks from the date of receipt of an application from councils.  For Special Variations this is from 12 February – 12 March 2018 and for Minimum Rate Variations this is from 12 March – 9 April 2018.


Key Contact
Scott Chapman
02 9290 8449
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