Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By LISA THOMAS

CITY of Su­bi­aco coun­cil­lors have voted in favour of a 4.1 per cent rate rise for the 2016-17 Bud­get.

Coun­cil­lors voted 8-2 for the bud­get at Tues­day night’s spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing.

The bud­get de­ci­sion was de­ferred last month fol­low­ing back­lash over a pro­posed 8.7 per cent rate rise, which was planned to off­set the im­pact of the City of Perth Act.

Coun­cil­lor Hugh Richard­son spoke in favour of the bud­get, but said if it was not for the Act, Su­bi­aco rates would have been one of the low­est across the lo­cal gov­ern­ments at 1 per cent.

“None of this would be nec­es­sary if it wasn’t for the State Govern­ment,” he said.

“In this bud­get the coun­cil has given Premier Colin Barnett, Tony Simp­son and Bill Marmion a get out of jail free card.”

Cr Paul Clements said the Act was a dis­as­ter, but com­mended City of­fi­cers on re­duc­ing the rate rise from 8.7 per cent.

Cr Peter McAl­lis­ter voted against the item and said he be­lieved rates could be lower.

“I think next year we need to fight… to have zero rate rises over the next four years.”

The City will lose $43 mil­lion over the next 10 years be­cause of the changes brought about by the Act, which came into ef­fect on July 1.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Don Bur­nett said the City had taken mea­sures to halve the im­pact from the Act, but were still con­sid­er­ing op­tions to deal with the on­go­ing short­fall.

“The 2016-17 Bud­get has been adopted as the most ben­e­fi­cial ap­proach for the City and the com­mu­nity in the long term,” he said.

“The City has made sig­nif­i­cant changes to mit­i­gate the im­pact of the City of Perth Act, in­clud­ing re­duc­ing its an­nual op­er­at­ing costs by over $3 mil­lion, which has left a $1.3 mil­lion short­fall as a re­sult of the Act.”

Mr Bur­nett said the City did not plan on seek­ing fur­ther com­pen­sa­tion from the City of Perth or the State Govern­ment.

He said Coun­cil would con­sider re­duc­ing the num­ber of coun­cil­lors to help deal with the short­fall.

“Coun­cil will con­sider a range of op­tions in re­la­tion to wards and the num­ber of city coun­cil­lors,” he said. “Once en­dorsed by Coun­cil, com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion will take place.”

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