AFTER speaking to nearly 1000 residents at more than 40 feedback sessions across the shire, council is yet to convince residents they should support a proposed 18 per cent increase to rates.
The sessions commenced in June last year and involved meetings with organisations, service clubs and residents in public halls and rural fire stations around the shire.
Together with media, web, information desks, newsletters and direct mail outs, they were designed to provide all ratepayers access to full information and an opportunity to raise queries direct with council.
“As a general comment there was an enhanced understanding of the condition of our roads and bridges, agreement that we need to address the backlog in their renewal and maintenance and acceptance of the need to substantially increase rate revenue,” general manager Danny Green said.
“However, (they did not support) the 18 per cent compound increase, designed to provide the optimum solution given timeliness of works and affordability.
“It was interesting to note several comments that the problem is only of recent origin when in fact unfunded liabilities have been before this council for many years.
“Many other councils have commonly and routinely dealt with this problem through rate variations over the years.”
Where appropriate, replies to direct questions have been made and council has responded to the author.
- Gloucester Shire Council will receive $2.2 million in federal Financial Assistance Grants this financial year Lyne MP David Gillespie announced on Monday.
Councils are free to spend this untied grant funding according to local priorities, including for infrastructure, health, recreation, environment, employment and roads projects.