250 words (3 minutes reading time) by ChatGPT (with some help)
The Victorian government has implemented a policy requiring councils to operate and deliver services within the constraints of annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. This means that councils must fundamentally re-think the way they deliver services to the community in order to meet this requirement.
If there are certain services that cannot be delivered within this framework, councils must identify these “special” services and seek a higher rate cap for them. The need for these services must be explained and justified through a community engagement process, as it is essential for the council to have the support of the community for this change.
These special services could vary, such as infrastructure projects that are partially funded by the government but the operating costs fall on the local community, or natural issues specific to a region such as tree canopy coverage or flooding.
To request higher rate caps, councils must demonstrate responsible and efficient use of resources in delivering their regular services within the CPI increase constraint. This will require a dedicated team within the council to understand and work with the Essential Services Commission, the regulator overseeing this policy.
Overall, while it may require a re-thinking of current processes and the development of new skills, there is a pathway for councils to live within the rate cap and meet the needs of their community.
It is somehow fitting that the last post on this topic (at least for now) is written by AI using information taken from previous posts. It is illustrative of the efficiencies the rate cap must drive if councils are to deliver services with only CPI increases. Over 500 words in random paragraphs were reduced to 250 words of clarity in seconds. The essential actions were gleaned from many ideas. Councils need to do this.
Footnote to the Footnote
When asked to take the Footnote and re-write it, ChatGPT became quite chatty about itself …
The task at hand for councils is clear: to deliver services to the community within the constraints of annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases. This requires a fundamental re-thinking of the way services are currently delivered, and an emphasis on efficiency and productivity. The use of AI, like in the example of this post, serves as a reminder of the potential for technology to aid in streamlining processes and identifying key messages. It is now up to councils to take this concept and apply it to their own operations, in order to meet the demands of the community within the rate cap.