Thirteen councils across NSW have applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a special variation to increase their income from rates above the rate peg (details in table below).

“We will assess applications against the criteria established by the Office of Local Government, which require councils to demonstrate the need for the additional revenue, evidence of community consultation and an assessment of the impact on affected ratepayers,” said IPART Tribunal Chair Carmel Donnelly.

Every year IPART decides a rate peg for each council in NSW which sets the maximum amount councils can increase the revenue they collect from rates. Councils must seek IPART approval to increase their rates revenue by more than the rate peg. To do this they apply to IPART for a special variation.

IPART has set the rate peg for 2023-24 at 3.7%. There is also an allowance for the level of population growth, meaning some councils will have rate pegs up to 6.8%.
“This year some councils have applied for large increases in rates above the rate peg through special variations. We always conduct a feedback process where the community can have its say on the applications, IPART welcomes all input from residents about a council’s application for a special variation and IPART is accepting submissions on the councils’ applications until 3 March,” said Ms Donnelly.

We will release our final decision on the councils’ special variation applications in May 2023.

The councils’ applications are available for review on our website. The website also has information about how to lodge a submission.
We have granted an additional four councils a one-month extension to the special variation application deadline.

Bellingen Shire council, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional council, Strathfield council and Tweed Shire council’s applications will be published and open for public submission in April.

Media Contact: Adrian Flood, Phone: 0427 105 865, Email:

Table 1: Proposed special variations


Cumulative increase

Annual increases

Armidale Regional council

58.8% over 3 years

16.67% in 2023-24, 16.67% in 2024-25 and 16.66% in 2025-26

Bega Valley Shire council

48.3% over 2 years

24.0% in 2023-24 and 19.6% in 2024-25

City of Canada Bay council

32.53% over 4 years

15.49% in 2023-24, 4.81% in 2024-25, 4.69% in 2025-26 and 4.58% in 2026-27

Federation council

74.59% over 4 years

19.0% in 2023-24, 17.0% in 2024-25, 14.0% in 2025-26 and 10.0% in 2026-27.

Hornsby Shire council

31.05% over 4 years

8.5% in 2023-24, 7.5% in 2024-25, 6.5% in 2025‑26 and 5.5% in 2026-27

Junee Shire council

32.19% over 2 years

17.5% in 2023-24 and 12.50% in 2024-25

Lithgow City council

45.78% over 1 year

45.7% in 2023-24

Liverpool Plains Shire council

18.1% over 1 year

18.1% in 2023-24

Port Stephens council

31.3% over 3 years

9.5% per year in 2023-24, 2024-25 and 2025-26

Snowy Monaro Regional council

53.0% over 1 year

53.0% in 2023-24

Tenterfield Shire council

104.5% over 2 years

43.0% per year in 2023-24 and 2024-25

Walcha council

57.74% over 3 years

36.5% in 2023-24, 8.0% in 2024-25 and 7.0% in 2025-26

Woollahra Municipal council

22.23% over 2 years

13.7% in 2023-24 and 7.5% in 2024-25

Note: All proposed special variations are permanent, and all stated increases are inclusive of the actual 2023-24 rate peg and an assumed rate peg of 2.5% for all other years.