Rise rates among lowest
THE Town of Bassendean is to have its lowest rate rise in more than a decade.
The council endorsed the 2018-19 draft budget at its July 24 meeting, which included a 0.9 per cent rate rise.
Corporate services director Michael Costarella said it was the lowest increase he had seen in 11 years at the Town. It meant the minimum rate for each property would increase $10 from $1085 to $1095.
It was among the lowest rises in Perth, along with the City of Melville (0.9 per cent), City of Perth (0.8 per cent) and Town of Cottesloe (0.7 per cent).
The Town of Cambridge was the only council in Perth to have no increase.
Mr Costarella said the Town achieved the small rise through having capital grants of $2.3 million, cash in lieu of $544,000 and $1.4 million of reserve funds for capital works.
The Town had a 2.5 per cent rise last year.
Waste service fees are to increase by $5 from $360 to $365 to cover the introduction of a third bin into the household waste system.
Councillors rejected a recommendation to increase Australia Day fireworks parking costs from $10 to $15.
The budget was at a surplus of nearly $100,000 before councillors made several amendments, the biggest of which was Mayor Renee McLennan’s proposal to plant 100 more trees in the Town.
She said this would cost about $75,000 to “kick-start our urban forest”.
Councillors passed the amendment unanimously.
TOWN of Bassendean councillors have voted against giving themselves a pay rise.
Cr Melissa Mykytiuk raised the possibility of a small pay rise as a potential amendment to the budget during discussions at the July 24 meeting.
Cr Mykytiuk suggested councillors be paid $205 extra to increase their earnings, known as sitting fees, from $16,000 to the maximum allowed $16,205.
She was initially going to call for a $1000 increase, but was informed of the cap on sitting fees.
“I have never in my life seen a group of people that work so hard and so tirelessly for the benefit of others,” she said.
“While this appears to be a money incentive, it’s the ability to buy a little bit more time to provide that valuable service to the community.”
Cr Sarah Quinton spoke in support.
“This is a workplace, we make decisions and we are grossly underpaid for that,” she said.
Cr Jai Wilson was against the suggestion, saying he backed the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal’s recommendation that there be no increase to earnings.
“I would not support giving an increase to my payment at a figure that was above that which the staff would receive in their union-negotiated agreement,” he said.
Cr Mykytiuk also proposed maximum increases to the Mayor’s $25,000 meeting fee and $36,000 local government allowance.
Mayor Renee McLennan was thankful for the support but said she had already refused a $7000 increase to her sitting fee in an earlier version of the budget and did not favour Cr Mykytiuk’s proposal.
No councillors seconded either of the amendments.
Bassendean Mayor Renee McLennan has rejected calls for a pay rise.