Ratepay­ers must keep a close eye on their coun­cil

South Western Times - - Let­ters To The Edi­tor - Sheila Ferguson, Aus­tralind

At the Har­vey Shire Coun­cil meet­ing on March 24 the fol­low­ing mo­tion, which was in­tro­duced as new busi­ness of an ur­gent na­ture, was lost 4-7.

“That the Shire of Har­vey freeze fees and charges, in­clud­ing a zero rate increase for the 2020-2021 fi­nan­cial year”.

Noth­ing else is recorded in the min­utes but a colour­ful ac­count of what happened ap­peared in last week’s South Western Times (Vote rules out rate freeze Times, March 26), for which elec­tors should be grate­ful.

A sim­i­lar but more de­tailed mo­tion will be dis­cussed at the next coun­cil meet­ing; for de­tails see item 14 of the min­utes of the last meet­ing, which are avail­able on the shire’s web­site.

The WA State Gov­ern­ment has called on all coun­cils to freeze rates in the next fi­nan­cial year, say­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ments will play a crit­i­cal role in the sur­vival and re­cov­ery of com­mu­ni­ties. Some have al­ready agreed.

It is un­known whether Har­vey coun­cil will con­tinue to meet in coun­cil cham­bers or whether they will con­duct busi­ness through elec­tronic means. Ei­ther way, as things stand it is un­likely mem­bers of the pub­lic will be able to at­tend or par­tic­i­pate.

I en­cour­age ratepay­ers in Har­vey shire to let their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives know what they think about rate rises, es­pe­cially in the cur­rent world health and fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Email coun­cil­lors@ har­vey.wa.gov.au or see the shire’s web­site for phone num­bers.

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