Ratepayer group tells Council to ‘lose the levy’
“LOSE the levy.” This is the message to Whitsunday Regional Council from the newly formed Whitsunday Regional Ratepayers Association (WRRA), whose members stormed the ordinary Council meeting in Bowen last week.
WRRA secretary John Barnes said increases in rates “with little justification”, the $140 levy and “incredible variations in water charges” had ratepayers angry and asking questions.
“Whitsunday Regional Council is demonstrating day after day, poor judgement and lack of experience,” he said.
Mr Barnes said the WRRA had formed with the intention of unit- ing the “one region”, an aim that was once mayor Jennifer Whitney’s election mantra.
“But what we’ve got is the opposite,” he said.
“We’ve got a mayor who just continues to look backwards and we’ve got financials that are put out every month that are in total contrast to the last month’s and her statements.”
Mr Barnes said the WRRA had written to the mayor asking her to lose the levy, re-set the water tariff, expedite the auditing of current financial reports, carry out an audit of Council’s employment costs, put a talented and experienced management team in place and advise what Crime and Misconduct Com- mission (CMC) investigations were active.
Cr Whitney, who was not present at last week’s Council meeting as she was at Tourism and Events Queensland’s Destination Q forum on the Gold Coast, said she was not yet in receipt of the letter but that she was happy for the WRRA to seek clarification on any points.
“We’re going to lose the levy as soon as we can afford to do that in conjunction with QTC (Queensland Treasury Corporation),” she said.
“At this stage the levy is only in place for one year and we’ll see what Council’s position is and review it at the next budget.”
LOSE THE LEVY: Ratepayers protested against the new $140 major projects levy at last week's Council meeting in Bowen.