Letter to editor: Is the council rate rise fair?

James Hooke from Bulliac responds to Steve Bromhead's support of a council rate rise.
James Hooke from Bulliac responds to Steve Bromhead's support of a council rate rise.

While noting the National’s Steve Bromhead’s very enthusiastic support for another rate rise, the community is justified in asking questions.

Since the backlog is a problem resulting from the State Government policy of rate pegging, which keeps increases below the “construction/ engineering index”, will the State commit to a program of funding to deal with the problem?

Rates have been kept artificially low by successive State governments and now that our roads are falling apart, ratepayers are expected to pick up the whole tab. If rates had risen a little more to reflect the impact of that index and works carried out at the time first identified, the cost would have been much less than it now will be. That’s not fair.

Since the State government is able to exempt Mid Coast council from the ‘no rate rise for four years rule’, the only council to lose this protection, then why not allow rates to correspond across the entire council.

Why are residential rates in Great Lakes so much higher than everyone else? Why are Gloucester’s rural ratepayers hit so hard? Rate harmonisation has to happen eventually but people have no idea of its impact on them. The uncertainty will have an adverse impact on many people and businesses. That’s not fair either.

Neither ratepayers or local government inefficiencies are responsible for this situation, yet we are being cajoled into paying for it all. That’s not fair.

James Hooke – Bulliac