Subiaco, Perth in rates slugfest
Subiaco has asked for financial assistance from the City of Perth, whose rates will only rise 1.6 per cent in the 2016-17 financial year, to help cover the deficit.
However, while City of Perth chief executive Martin Mileham said both councils were negotiating financials, he did not believe it was fair on City of Perth ratepayers.
“There is no reason, however, under the Guiding Principals for District Boundary Adjustments that would be fair to the former ratepayers of Subiaco and the current ratepayers of the City of Perth, that the City of Perth should pay monies to the City of Subiaco other than for bona-fide redundancies and in repayment of loans attributable to actual assets that will transfer to the City of Perth,” he said.
Mr Simpson said he encouraged residents to visit the MyCouncil website and question if their local government was providing value for money.
“I find the City of Subiaco’s claims about their tough economic position extraordinary when the MyCouncil website shows the City holds more than $31 million in cash reserves alone; an increase of 32 per cent from last year. This is in addition to their extensive investment portfolio,” he said.
“I find it very disappointing that the City of Subiaco is not looking for efficiencies within their own administration and instead using the City of Perth Act as an excuse to slug their residents with an excessive rate increase well above the latest WA consumer price index of 1.1 per cent.”
City of Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson said the City of Perth Act had left the City in a tough financial position.
“The Minister seems intent on defending the flawed City of Perth Act, which clearly leaves the City of Subiaco with a significant financial black hole from July 1,” she said.
“Council has already cut $1 million from it 2016-17 draft budget, including making redundant 21.5 FTE positions, which is a saving of approximately $2 million from its wages bill. The City is looking at all avenues to further close the $1.3 million gap that is a direct result of the City of Perth Act.”
Shadow Minister for Local Government David Templeman said he believed the State Government should offer compensation to the City of Subiaco.
“This is why we attempted to have the City of Perth Act given to an Upper House Committee, to clarify the consequences of the transition,” he said.
“The State Government should look at compensation and re-examining the implications this is going to have on the City of Subiaco and ratepayers.”