Right rates di­rec­tion

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Bron­wyn Donovan

THE rate rise in South Perth has been set be­low the Lo­cal Govern­ment Cost In­dex (LGCI) for the first time in eight years.

The coun­cil voted 7-2 in en­dors­ing its bud­get for this fi­nan­cial year, adopt­ing a 1.6 per cent rate in­crease.

Coun­cil­lor Greg Mil­ner, who was elected last Oc­to­ber on a prom­ise to do every­thing in his power to en­cour­age rates re­lief for res­i­dents, said at the meet­ing he felt the bud­get this year was a step in the right di­rec­tion.

He com­mended City of­fi­cers for their hard work and at­tempts to get City fi­nances on track for ratepay­ers.

“This bud­get sees a rate in­crease be­low the na­tional CPI in­crease of 1.9 per cent for the year end­ing March 2018, and it is be­low the na­tional av­er­age wage growth of 2 per cent for the same pe­riod,” he said.

“Be­fore this bud­get, the av­er­age yearly rate rise over the last eight years was 4.8 per cent.

“This bud­get brings that down to one-third of that av­er­age and de­liv­ers for all the South Perth busi­nesses, fam­i­lies and res­i­dents who voted last year to keep rates low.”

City of South Perth Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­woman Ce­cilia Brooke was en­cour­aged the coun­cil had set rates loosely aligned with in­fla­tion.

She said the group wanted the coun­cil to con­tinue that prac­tice by look­ing to fur­ther re­duce ex­pen­di­ture by iden­ti­fy­ing op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies within its pro­cesses.

Ms Brooke also praised coun­cil­lors for be­ing pre­pared to ask dif­fi­cult ques­tions about the City’s cost struc­ture and the way ratepay­ers’ money was spent.

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