Drop seen in gov­ern­ment fund­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

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).

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