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What do my rates pay for

What do my rates pay for and how does council decide on how funds are allocated?


Local councils have come a long way since the days of roads, rates and rubbish. Wingecarribee Shire Council today funds many more services to meet our community’s needs and expectations. Some of these include:


  • parks, sports grounds, playgrounds, community halls, pools and cemeteries
  • libraries, arts and culture programs
  • community development services for youth, older people, people living with a disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • children’s services
  • public and environmental health initiatives
  • environmental and sustainability projects such as the management of invasive species
  • transport services including roads, footpaths, car parks, road safety and traffic facilities
  • promotion of business development, events and tourism
  • development services including development applications and certification
  • land use and natural environmental planning
  • stormwater and flood management
  • emergency management
  • community and council strategic planning.


The cost of providing all of these services comes from the collection of rates. For many years Wingecarribee Shire Council has prudently delivered a balanced budget to ensure that it doesn’t spend beyond its means.


Council undertakes a review of its budget (including four year forward estimates) on an annual basis. This review is conducted as part of preparing the annual Operational Plan. In determining how funds are allocated as part of the annual budget, Council considers the following:


  • Community priorities as identified through its Community Strategic Plan – Wingecarribee 2031
  • Funding requirements to ensure that the breadth and quality of services provided to the community are maintained at existing levels
  • Statutory and/or legislative funding requirements which are outside of Council’s control. These costs are typically referred to as ‘cost-shifting’ from other tiers of Government.


A detailed review of all expenditure and revenue is undertaken by Council as part of the review of the annual budget. Once this review has been completed, workshops are held with Councillors to confirm funding allocations based on the above considerations.

Last Updated: June 5th, 2019
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