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The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

+or­sham 5ural City Coun­cil is seek­ing ex pres­sions of in­ter­est from peo­ple to Moin a new 5ates Strat­egy Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee. Coun­cil­lors at 0on­day night¶s Or­di­nary 0eet­ing voted to pro­ceed with a 5ates Strat­egy 5eview 3romect which will be de­liv­ered ahead of the Bud­get. The nine per­son Com­mit­tee, work­ing along­side an in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant, will play a key role in shap­ing the way rates are cal­cu­lated. Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Su­nil Bhalla said the re­view was in re­sponse to strong opin­ion ex­pressed from the farm­ing sec­tor af­ter the 5ates Strat­egy con­sulta tion pe­riod had closed. “Coun­cil voted not to make any sig­nif­i­cant ad­must­ments to the 5ates Strat­egy un­til suf­fi­cient con­sul­ta­tion had been con­duct ed with all sec­tors of the com­mu­nity,” 0r Bhalla said. “,t would have been un­fair to im­pose rate rises on the res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial sec­tors with­out con­sult­ing with them. “,nstead, Coun­cil re­solved to have a de tailed and in­de­pen­dent re­view un­der­taken where ev­ery­one can share their opin­ion. “A key out­come is to achieve a fair and etu­itable dis­tri­bu­tion of the rate bur­den across all sec­tors of the com­mu­nity,” he said. 0r Bhalla said he hoped the re­view would help to clar­ify de­tails in the cur­rent rate strat­egy. “Some peo­ple don¶t un­der­stand that it¶s a closed sys­tem, so if you want some­one to pay less, some­one else has to pay more in or­der to main­tain Coun­cil ser­vices each year. “,ssues of fair­ness and etu­ity are Mudge men­tal in na­ture, com­plex and sub­mec­tive. The mat­ter is not sim­ple or black and white and proper con­sid­er­a­tion needs to be given to the rel­a­tive Tues­tions of what is fair and what is not. Fair­ness will dif­fer depend­ing upon an in­di­vid­ual¶s view on mat­ters. “,t¶s about hear­ing what peo­ple have to say,” he said. 0r Bhalla said peo­ple from all sec­tors of the com­mu­nity were en­cour­aged to ap­ply for mem­ber­ship on the Ad­vi­sory Com­mit tee. “A di­verse Com­mit­tee will be sought that pro­vides both gen­der etu­ity and ages rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the gen­eral adult pop­ula tion,” he said. “The com­mit­tee will, as far as prac­ti­cal, be com­posed of rep­re­sen­ta­tives pro­por tion­ate to the share of rates paid by each sec­tor.” ,t is en­vis­aged that the com­mit­tee will meet be­tween four and six times over a two month pe­riod from Oc­to­ber to 'ecem­ber . Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for Moin­ing the Com­mit­tee close 0on­day Septem­ber

at pm and can be submitted on­line at hrcc.vic.gov.au or by com­plet­ing forms avail­able from the Civic Cen­tre, 5oberts Av­enue, +or­sham.

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