Ratepayers must keep a close eye on their council
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.