Council's plans for year ahead

Kempsey Shire Council

Considering Council's annual budget, deciding whether to investigate a special rate variation and locking in modern waste management are some of the items Councillors will discuss at their April meeting.

The ordinary meeting will be held in Council Chambers from 9am on Tuesday 18 April.

The meeting's start will be delayed, with Councillors first receiving a presentation from the NSW Grants Commission. This presentation is a public meeting which community members can attend.

You can view the March agenda and business papers at Council meeting agendas & minutes.

You can register to speak to Councillors at the Public Forum on Monday 17 April. The meeting is only held if there are registered speakers.

The meeting will be live-streamed via Council's YouTube page and on the Kempsey Shire Council website.

The year ahead and key projects

The Integrated Planning and Reporting documents that Council adopts each year prior to 30 June are the equivalent of the Budget presentation made our Federal and State Government equivalents.

The Integrated Planning and Reporting framework recognises that most communities share similar aspirations but each responds differently to addressing these needs. It is the response that shapes the character of areas, towns and villages.

Councillors are being asked to approve the draft Integrated Planning and Reporting documents so that they can be placed on public exhibition. Following that exhibition period the documents will be revised before being presented to the June meeting for adoption.

This suite of documents includes:

  • 2023/24 Operational Plan, which is essential Council's annual budget
  • 2023/24 Revenue Policy
  • 2023/24 Fees and Charges
  • 2023/24 Rates Maps, and
  • 2023/33 Long Term Financial Plan, a 10 year financial forecast that is updated annually.

Some of the key projects planned to progress in the 2022/23 financial year include:

Your Future: 2042 Theme

Key Projects


Central Kempsey Wastewater Treatment Plant

Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme

Water Treatment Plants at Willawarrin, Steuart McIntyre Dam and Crescent Head

Crescent Head Public Domain Plan


Kempsey Regional Saleyards redevelopment

Road and bridge damage rectification caused by natural disasters

Sealing of Maria River Road

Five Headlands Coastal Experience


Verge and Eden Streeting Sports Complex

Implementation of Reconciliation Action Plan

Kemp Street Sporting Complex and Service Clubs Park

Horseshoe Bay Masterplan implementation

Macleay Valley Adventure Park


Investigate special rate variation

Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management Plan finalisation and implementation

To learn more about these documents, please refer to the business papers or Corporate planning, performance and budget

Special rate variation investigation

Council's Long Term Financial Plan indicates multiple years of ongoing operating deficits when capital grants and contributions are excluded.

Budget scenarios with and without a special rate variation have been published in the last 5 Long Term Financial Plans, each reflecting the challenge of achieving a sustainable budget position.

Councillors will consider whether staff should conduct a formal investigation on the need for a special rate variation. This would include dedicating resources to considering detailed financial modelling, assets management planning and levels of capital spending. This project would also include substantial community engagement and information sharing, in order to inform residents and give them the opportunity to provide feedback on the difficult decisions required.

If Councillors do endorse the investigation, the results will be presented in a report to Council in November 2023.

Modern waste management for our shire

Like many communities across Australia, Kempsey Shire Council is facing new challenges with our waste management, particularly solid waste.

In response, Council has developed the Waste Management Strategy 2022/32 which will guide Council's transition from providing an adequate waste management service to one of leadership and innovation in resource recovery and waste prevention.

The draft strategy was placed on exhibition earlier this year for 28 days. During this time residents were invited to comment on its contents.

Councillors are now being asked to determine if the Waste Management Strategy 2022/32 should be adopted.

Waiving Commercial Licence Fees for cultural tourism

Councillors will consider granting delegation to the General Manager to waive or reduce Commercial Licence Fees for Indigenous enterprises and cultural activities.

This decision comes after Council resolved to waive the commercial licence fees and charges associated with cultural tourism activities carried out by South West Rocks Figtree Descendants Aboriginal Corporation in November 2022.

In addition to waiving fees for cultural tourism activities, it is recommended that the General Manager also be delegated the authority to waive Commercial Licence Fees for operators that require minimal or infrequent use of Council land. An example of such an operation could be a commercial walking tour operator that conducts a walking tour in another local government area (LGA) but briefly crosses into Kempsey Shire for a small portion of the walk.

Order of Business considered in open session

10.1. Integrated Planning and Reporting 2023-2024

10.2. Special Rate Variation Investigation

10.3. Waste Management Strategy 2022 - 2032

10.4. Delegated authority to waive Commercial Licence Fees

10.5. Disclosure of Interest Returns

10.6. Development Activity and LEP Variations - Quarterly Snapshot - 3rd Quarter 2022/2023

10.7. Statement of Cash and Investments - March 2023

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