Local Government
Special Variations Minimum Rates

Special Variations & Minimum Rates 2018-19

Review completed
Start Date
Nov 2017
End Date
May 2018

IPART has made decisions on 13 council applications for special variation and three minimum rate applications in 2018-19.

Fact Sheet: Decisions on councils’ requests for special variations for 2018-19

Councils can apply to IPART to increase general income above the rate peg, which we set at 2.3% for 2018-19.


Special variations may fund improvements in a council’s financial sustainability, asset renewals or maintenance, or new or enhanced services or projects important to the community.

Special variations may be temporary or remain permanently in the rate base.


We received applications for a special variation in 2018-19 from:

  • Ballina Shire
  • Balranald Shire
  • Bellingen Shire
  • Clarence Valley
  • Hawkesbury City
  • Kempsey Shire
  • Kiama Municipal
  • Lismore City
  • Muswellbrook Shire
  • Randwick City
  • Shoalhaven City
  • Upper Hunter Shire
  • Willoughby City

Clarence Valley, Kiama Municipal and Randwick City councils also applied for an increase in minimum rates.


We assessed applications against the criteria set out in the Office of Local Government’s Guidelines for the preparation of an application for a special variation to general income.

All special variation applications needed to demonstrate the need for the additional revenue, that the council engaged with and made the community aware of the proposed changes, and the council is making productivity improvements. 

What Next

The timetable for the 2019-20 round of special rate variations will be made available following the release of our decision on the 2019-20 rate peg in September 2018. Councils should notify IPART of their intention to apply for a special variation after September 2018 and applications would be due around February 2019.

Key Contact
John Madden
02 9113 7780
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