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Submission to ESC draft Rates Capping and Variation Framework

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The MAV provided a submission to the Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) draft Rates Capping and Variation Framework last week.

The submission (Word - 225KB) highlighted a number of issues that require consideration by the ESC before the framework is finalised and presented to the State Government.

Our submission highlights the disparity between the process described in the ESC’s draft – which suggests a very difficult variation framework – and its description of the process to the sector – which presents a more accessible regime. This disparity needs to be removed in the final report so it clearly reflects the intent of the ESC.

The MAV is fundamentally concerned that the proposed framework will prevent councils from delivering high quality services and infrastructure to their communities, which will ultimately reduce the liveability of Victoria. Small rural shires also face the prospect of significant financial distress as a consequence of the framework.

The submission also raises concerns with the potential conflict of roles proposed by the ESC as both the arbiter of rating variations and the monitor of the framework’s effects. The MAV believes that an alternative agency should undertake the monitoring role. Further technical issues include the proposed rate capping base, the methodology and process.

For further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.

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