Councils across NSW are struggling to keep up with costs as the latest survey shows there could be more rate rises on the horizon.
Of the 71 councils in the Country Mayors Association (CMA) about 85 per cent have stated they have either requested, or will have to request, a Special Rate Variation within the next five years, according to the recent CMA annual survey.
CMA chair, and Gunnedah mayor, Jamie Chaffey said the financial concerns are the cumulative result of a range of issues, including increases in the emergency services levy, construction materials, power hikes, annual audit costs, and public sector wage rises.
"And it's not just happening now, it has occurred over many years," Cr Chaffey said.
"That's what has caused the situation. And in some situations we are seeing some councils with out-of-control audit costs."
The survey results were discussed during the CMA meeting at Parliament House in Sydney on May 26, attended by state and opposition politicians, including the ministers for water, regional health, and housing.
Among the other top concerns of councils across the state, were a lack of affordable housing, the labour shortage, transport and roads, and health, with disaster response and renewable energy also mentioned.
Mr Chaffey said there are about 2000 positions still vacant in roles for both skilled and unskilled labour, such as town planning, engineering and water and land crews, with one council citing 160 vacancies.
The CMA will next meet in Sydney with the Minister for Local Government and others on August 4.
IPART is expected to reveal which councils have been successful in their request for a Special Rate Variation, soon.
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