What is the Delivery Program and Operational Plan?

To provide services that meet community needs the Council plans for service provision into the future.

The Council prepares a number of plans each year, which provide details of how the Council is responding to community priorities in the short and long term. The Operational Plan provides details about what the Council will be delivering in the following financial year and how much it will be spending on providing these services.  It is part of the four-year Delivery Program that includes four-year priorities and commitments.

The Council is also required to report back to the community on the progress being made in implementing these plans.

More information on the Council's Integrated Plans can be found on Council's website www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/yourcouncil/integratedplanningforservices


What information will I find in the Delivery Program / Operational Plan?

Outline of plan and key content

As the outcome of the Council’s special variation application is still to be determined by IPART and then the Council, you will find two versions of information where required. We summarise what service delivery will look like in 2015-2016 if our application for a special variation is approved by IPART and adopted by Council (Option 1), and also if our application for a special variation is not approved by IPART or not adopted by the Council (Option 3). In 2015-2016, this mainly impacts on the Natural Environment Service. This is because under Option 1: Service Levels Improved, the special rate variation enables the Council to continue programs funded by the previous Environment Levy (due to expire in June 2015) while Option 3: Service Levels Reduced does not. Under Option 3 there is consequently a significant reduction in expenditure on environmental programs.

Refer to Section 2.6 for more information on the Council's application for a special rate variation.

Section 1 – Introduction includes:

  • A message from the Mayor and General Manager focusing on the Council’s four year commitments and the implementation of the six financial strategies for financial sustainability;  
  • The Council’s Vision, Mission and Values and Organisational Structure;
  • An overview of the Delivery Program / Operational Plan and the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework; and
  • Some general information about the City.

Section 2 – Resourcing the Delivery Program includes:

  • Information on the local government resourcing context;
  • Key information on the proactive approach of the Council in addressing it’s financial challenges through the implementation of the six financial strategies for financial sustainability; and 
  • Information on the Council’s application for a special rate variation to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Section 3 –Top Priority Actions by Key Direction / Service Summaries

  • The Council recently reviewed and reconfirmed the Four Year Priority Commitments and Outcomes (Minute No. 71, 24/03/15) as summarised on pages 14-15 of the Plan. These Priority Commitments and Outcomes set the strategic direction of the Council resulting in the development of four year priority actions that the Council intends to deliver over 2013-2017 (refer to pages 36-38 of Enclosure 1). These priority actions will support the Council’s responsibilities and obligations in contributing to the achievement of the Community Strategic Plan – Sustainable Blue Mountains 2025. 
  • This section also outlines the planned actions for 2015-2016 for each Council service and available budget for each service. 

Section 4 – Assets Works Program

  • The Council manages, renews and maintains over $1 billion worth of built assets - facilities such as pools, community buildings and infrastructure such as roads and footpaths.
  • The Asset Works Program for the remaining two years of the Council term is based on the principles of asset works programing outlined on page 116 of the Plan.

Section 5 – Financial Information

  • This section presents Budget Estimates, the Rates and Annual Charges Statement and the Borrowings Statement.
  • The 2015-2016 Budget Estimates present a balanced cash budget.
  • The balanced 2015-2016 Cash Budget is achieved through reducing debt, increasing revenue and adjusting services, as well as achieving operating savings through continuous business improvement initiatives.
  • Option 3 delivers an affordable level of service, however with significant deterioration in condition of built and natural assets and with service levels reduced and adjusted to available funding.
  • Although the Council balances the annual cash budget, it does have an operating deficit once the deterioration of assets is included (that is depreciation). This projected operating deficit highlights that in the short term the Council does not currently have the capacity to fund on an annual basis the assessed required maintenance, renewal and replacement of existing Council assets (roads, drains, footpaths, swimming pools, libraries, parks etc.) worth over $1 billion in 2014.
  • In contrast to Option 1, which delivers an operating result deficit of -$3.9M by 2016-2017, Option 3 delivers a larger operating deficit of -$6.2M by 2016-2017.
  • The 2015-2016 rates statement presents what rates will be charged under Option 1 and Option 3, and the estimated revenue collected through rates.
  • The Borrowings Statement identifies no new loans for 2015-2016 except if a business case is separately approved.

Fees and Charges

  • A summary of new, changed or significantly increased fees and charges is included in the Fees and Charges 2015-2016 document.
  • Fees have generally increased 3% taking into account statutory requirements and the community’s ability to pay.

What services does the Council provide?

  • Aquatic and Leisure Centres
  • Building Certification
  • Burials and Ashes Placement
  • Commercial Activities
  • Community Development
  • Cultural Development (including the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub)
  • Economic Development (including Visitor Information Centres)
  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental Health and Regulatory Compliance
  • Family Day Care
  • Land Use Management
  • Library and Information
  • Natural Environment
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Town Centres
  • Transport and Public Access
  • Water Resource Management
  • Waste Resource Management

The Council also provides Civic Leadership / Good Governance services which includes:

  • Those services that deliver high-level strategic and governance functions that support the council in complying with State laws and regulations in relation to transparency and accountability such as City-wide Strategic Planning, Corporate Strategic Planning and Reporting, Governance and Risk, Asset Planning; and
  • Those services that provide operational support for external service delivery such as payroll, fleet, accounting and information technology support.

What assets does the Council own and manage?

A key part of service delivery provided by Blue Mountains City Council is the provision, renewal and maintenance of over $1 billion worth of built facilities and infrastructure and natual assets.

The Council provides and manages the following natural assets, built facilities and infrastructure:

  • Council managed bushland and creeklines including Endangered Ecological Communities and Threatened Species
  • Cemeteries (including fencing, pathways and garden beds)
  • Buildings for child care and preschools
  • Tourist Parks, residential buildings, commercial buildings
  • Public halls and community centre buildings
  • Buildings for Rural Fire Service and Emergency Services and fire trails
  • Buildings for cultural development (including the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub), monuments, public art
  • Buildings for libraries
  • Depots and administration buildings
  • Aquatic and fitness centres, parks (including public toilets and shelters), sportgrounds, playing courts, skate parks, walking tracks and lookouts
  • Visitor Information Centres and Echo Point Lookout and associated infrastructure
  • Street furniture, litter bins, community notice boards, garden beds, public toilets
  • Guardrails, signs, marked crossings, round-a-bouts, pedestrian refuges
  • Roads (sealed and unsealed), footpaths, bridges, carparks, bus shelters
  • Kerb & gutter, pipes, pits, open channels, stormwater quality improvement devices
  • Waste management facilities

How much is the Council planning to spend in 2015-2015 and where does it come from?

How much the Council will spend in 2015-2016, will depend on the outcome of the Council's application for a special rate variation to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Trinbunal and the Counci's final decision on this matter. The outcome will be announced on 19 May 2015.

Option 1 - Revenue

Option 1: Service Levels Improved – including a special rate variation providing additional funding to reverse the decline in the City’s $1B worth of assets from 21% to 17% in poor condition by 2024 by addressing the asset funding backlog, ensuring continuation of funding for environment programs, improving emergency preparedness and response and improving services and facilities for the community

in 2015-2016 under Option 1:Service Levels Improve the special rate variation enables the Council to continue programs funded by the previous Environment Levy (due to expire June 2015).

Under Option 1, the Council is planning to spend $107 million on service delivery in 2015-2016.

This is made up of:

  • Rates: $61.4 million
  • Regulatory fees: $2.0 million
  • Discretionary fees: $15.2 million
  • Interest income: $1.5 million
  • Other revenue: $3.3 million
  • Profit on sale of assets: $243,000
  • Operating grants & contributions: $12.3 million
  • Capital grants & contributions: $1.4 million
  • Transfers from reserves: $8.4 million
  • Sale of plant: $1.7 million

Option 3 - Revenue

Option 3: Service Levels Reduced – including no special rate variation (rates increase by rate peg only), and with significant reduction in environmental programs following expiry of the existing Environment Levy in June 2015. Under this option built assets in poor condition increase from 21% to 37% by 2024 and service levels are reduced across the board.

In 2015-2016 under Option 3: Service Levels Reduced there is no special rate variation and a consequent reduction in environmental programs.

The Council is planning to spend $105 million on service delivery in 2015-2016.

This is made up of:

  • Rates: $59.4 million
  • Regulatory fees: $2.0 million
  • Discretionary fees: $15.2 million
  • Interest income: $1.5 million
  • Other revenue: $3.3 million
  • Profit on sale of assets: $243,000
  • Operating grants & contributions: $12.3 million
  • Capital grants & contributions: $1.4 million
  • Transfers from reserves: $8.4 million
  • Sale of plant: $1.7 million