Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget 2020-21

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Consultation has concluded

Cover image from the draft Annual Business Plan for 2020-21 showing an aerial photo of people walking along the beach casting long shadows.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Onkaparinga has been working to maintain continuity of the services council provides and assess the possible long-term impacts on our communities and council operations.

To support our communities we’ve implemented a number of relief measures including a zero per cent rate revenue increase for council rates in 2020-21.

Development of the draft Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2020-21 has been ongoing and has involved a number of opportunities for community feedback during the 'REALLY?' campaign, including:

  • A community survey (see here for the findings)
  • An online interactive budget tool
  • Three budget workshops (see here for the feedback collected)

We thank all those community members who provided feedback during the first stages of consultation. This helped to shape the draft Plan.

We then invited our communities to provide written submissions on the draft Plan - which can be found here.

Community consultation to finalise the Plan closed at 5pm on Wednesday 24 June 2020.

We invited feedback:

  • here online
  • by emailing mail@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au
  • by writing to Annual Business Plan feedback, City of Onkaparinga, PO Box 1, Noarlunga Centre SA 5168

Submissions were collated and presented to Council for consideration when finalising the Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2020-21, and may influence long term financial planning.

Council Budget and Debt Levels
In preparing our most recent Annual Business Plan (ABP) summary, a level of information relating to council debt was not included. The omission was unintentional, however, to rectify this we are providing the relevant information here for our residents to review. You can also find more detailed information on page 12 of the draft Plan.

What was the projected debt for 2019-20 and what is that debt at present?
The 2019-20 Annual Business Plan projected debt levels at 30 June 2020 at $114.2m. At Budget Review 3, debt was forecast to be $95.5m as at 30 June 2020.

Why is debt lower than expected?
The reduction in year-end debt has resulted from a range of impacts including deferral of project expenditure, once-off savings across the organisation and an increase in some revenue items.

What is the City of Onkaparinga’s position on debt?
In the coming weeks and months, we will begin re-constructing the long term financial plan, from the bottom up, based on the objectives expressed by our current Elected Members, and taking into account community feedback received directly by Elected Members, or through Council’s current budget engagement processes. Both the council administration and our elected members agree that we must establish a debt ceiling as part of our Long Term Financial Plan. A revised policy will be established to support this, and strategies and initiatives will be introduced to minimise and reduce debt over the 10-year Long Term Financial Plan period. This will include ongoing review of our capital and renewal works programs, incorporating savings as they are identified, while allowing for known and anticipated pressures, and targeting an operating surplus over time.

What is the impact of operating under a debt ceiling?
Once an agreed debt ceiling has been established, we will modify our budgets, capital works plan and Long Term Financial Plan to ensure we operate within that agreed ceiling.

As a council we must deliver the projects and services required to meet the current and future needs of our rapidly growing city. If we are operating under a debt ceiling, some future projects may be delayed or only proceed if we receive external funding.

A debt ceiling may also impact asset service levels and the pace at which we can renew our assets across the city as part of our ongoing capital works program.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Onkaparinga has been working to maintain continuity of the services council provides and assess the possible long-term impacts on our communities and council operations.

To support our communities we’ve implemented a number of relief measures including a zero per cent rate revenue increase for council rates in 2020-21.

Development of the draft Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2020-21 has been ongoing and has involved a number of opportunities for community feedback during the 'REALLY?' campaign, including:

  • A community survey (see here for the findings)
  • An online interactive budget tool
  • Three budget workshops (see here for the feedback collected)

We thank all those community members who provided feedback during the first stages of consultation. This helped to shape the draft Plan.

We then invited our communities to provide written submissions on the draft Plan - which can be found here.

Community consultation to finalise the Plan closed at 5pm on Wednesday 24 June 2020.

We invited feedback:

  • here online
  • by emailing mail@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au
  • by writing to Annual Business Plan feedback, City of Onkaparinga, PO Box 1, Noarlunga Centre SA 5168

Submissions were collated and presented to Council for consideration when finalising the Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2020-21, and may influence long term financial planning.

Council Budget and Debt Levels
In preparing our most recent Annual Business Plan (ABP) summary, a level of information relating to council debt was not included. The omission was unintentional, however, to rectify this we are providing the relevant information here for our residents to review. You can also find more detailed information on page 12 of the draft Plan.

What was the projected debt for 2019-20 and what is that debt at present?
The 2019-20 Annual Business Plan projected debt levels at 30 June 2020 at $114.2m. At Budget Review 3, debt was forecast to be $95.5m as at 30 June 2020.

Why is debt lower than expected?
The reduction in year-end debt has resulted from a range of impacts including deferral of project expenditure, once-off savings across the organisation and an increase in some revenue items.

What is the City of Onkaparinga’s position on debt?
In the coming weeks and months, we will begin re-constructing the long term financial plan, from the bottom up, based on the objectives expressed by our current Elected Members, and taking into account community feedback received directly by Elected Members, or through Council’s current budget engagement processes. Both the council administration and our elected members agree that we must establish a debt ceiling as part of our Long Term Financial Plan. A revised policy will be established to support this, and strategies and initiatives will be introduced to minimise and reduce debt over the 10-year Long Term Financial Plan period. This will include ongoing review of our capital and renewal works programs, incorporating savings as they are identified, while allowing for known and anticipated pressures, and targeting an operating surplus over time.

What is the impact of operating under a debt ceiling?
Once an agreed debt ceiling has been established, we will modify our budgets, capital works plan and Long Term Financial Plan to ensure we operate within that agreed ceiling.

As a council we must deliver the projects and services required to meet the current and future needs of our rapidly growing city. If we are operating under a debt ceiling, some future projects may be delayed or only proceed if we receive external funding.

A debt ceiling may also impact asset service levels and the pace at which we can renew our assets across the city as part of our ongoing capital works program.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Got a question?  Ask us below!

Here are some of the questions we have been asked so far:


What does a zero per cent rate revenue increase mean?

The zero per cent rate increase means no increase in the overall rate revenue generated throughout the City compared to the 2019-20 financial year. This is adjusted for growth to ensure new properties contribute to our city.


What will this mean for each ratepayer?

Your council rates include two main components: a fixed charge and a rate based on the valuation of your property. The fixed charge is a flat charge applied to all properties regardless of their value, and ensures all properties equally contribute to the services, projects and infrastructure council provides. The fixed charge has not been increased for 2020-21.

The rate based on the valuation of your property will fluctuate based on that valuation.

The majority of our ratepayers may see either no increase, or a decrease, in their rates bill.

Others may see an increase in their rates bill. The most common reasons for this are:

  • improvements have been made to the property which have increased the valuation
  • a building has been constructed on a block of land which has increased the valuation of the property
  • there has been a change in land use.

 The value of your property is set by the state government’s valuer general. 


What is the regional landscape levy on my rates notice? 

South Australian councils are required to collect the regional landscape levy (previously known as NRM levy) on behalf of the state government. All properties pay this levy which is set by the state government. This charge is also based on your valuation. For more information phone the Green Adelaide or Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board on 8463 3733 or visit landscape.sa.gov.au 


What other charges may appear on my rates notice?

Properties that do not have access to SA Water’s wastewater network may be connected to council’s community wastewater management system (CWMS). Each customer on our CWMS pays the same annual service charge. There is no increase to this charge this year. 


What other coronavirus assistance is council providing?

We’ve implemented various relief measures to support our residents, businesses, not-for-profits, community groups and sporting clubs during this unprecedented time. Full details are available at onkaparingacity.com/covid19