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+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.