Drop seen in government funding
ARTIFICIALLY restricting the capacity for local governments to generate funds could compromise their ability to effectively manage community assets, according to City of Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole .
Mr Cole (right) agreed with WALGA president Lynne Craigie that any moves to introduce rate cap- ping was a serious strategic issue.
“Evidence from the eastern states shows that local governments are finding it increasingly difficult to properly maintain key infrastructure and provide effective ser- vices to their communities as a direct result of rate capping imposed there,” he said.
“Rate capping is not the appropriate mechanism to ensure proper financial management of local communities, as it seems that the longer term problems for the community outweigh the short-term gains.”
Mr Cole said councils were also seeing a reduction of funding contributions from State and Federal governments. He said the City of Belmont had an average rate increase of 3.4 per cent over the past decade and had tried to keep increases between the Local Government Cost Index (4.04 per cent) and the Consumer Price Index (3 per cent).