Rates rise adopted

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS - Lynn Gri­er­son

RES­I­DEN­TIAL rates will rise by 3 per cent in Shire of Mun­dar­ing af­ter coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously adopted the 2018-19 bud­get and longterm fi­nan­cial plan.

The in­crease equates to around $47 this year. Ru­ral res­i­den­tial rates will rise by 2.7 per cent, while com­mer­cial rates will de­crease by 0.9 per cent.

Shire Pres­i­dent John Daw was con­fi­dent ratepay­ers would be sat­is­fied with the bud­get be­cause it re­flected pri­or­i­ties iden­ti­fied in the Shire’s com­mu­nity plan.

“We have con­tin­ued our com­mit­ment to tran­si­tion­ing a lower rat­ing pro­file, which was es­tab­lished in the lead-up to the 2017-18 bud­get,” he said.

Coun­cil­lors re­jected a 4 per cent rate hike last year and ap­proved a 3 per cent rise af­ter send­ing the fi­nance team back to the draw­ing board.

Rates Mun­dar­ing con­vener John Bell ap­plauded the coun­cil for iden­ti­fy­ing sav­ings in the past two years, but said the rate in­crease was “higher than many”.

“Staff costs of about $19 mil­lion a year and high over­heads re­main a key is­sue be­cause each lo­cal gov­ern­ment is run like a sep­a­rate en­tity,” he said.

“The City of Swan re­cently in­vested $7 mil­lion in new IT… why couldn’t Mun­dar­ing Shire ben­e­fit from this im­prove­ment?

“The lack of de­sire to cen­tralise ser­vices makes no fi­nan­cial sense and there seems to be a vested in­ter­est in main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo.”

He said the Shire was iden­ti­fied as hav­ing no plan to out­source any ser­vice other than le­gal in a lo­cal gov­ern­ment au­dit by PwC.

The Shire’s long-term fi­nan­cial plan pro­vides for the cre­ation of an in­va­sive weed team to improve the ap­pear­ance of road­sides and pub­lic spa­ces, and im­prove­ments to Dar­ling­ton Skate Park and Mun­dar­ing and Chid­low ovals.

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