Rates rise adopted
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.