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2016/2017 Budget – Part 2 – An exercise in not listening to ratepayers.

 

It is very enlightening to read the State Government's press release regarding the Fair Go Rating System. I will give it's full text below:

Council Rate Increases Capped To Inflation

Minister for Local Government

22 December 2015

Media Release

 

Victorian council rate rises will be capped to the rate of inflation, 2.5%, for 2016/17.

Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins announced the Fair Go Rates cap today, keeping an election commitment to cap council rate rises to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Having passed the Parliament earlier this month, the Andrews Labor Government’s Fair Go Rates system will protect ratepayers from uncontrolled rate rises, which have on average risen 6% every year for the past decade.

Ms Hutchins set the cap based on Melbourne CPI for the next financial year, as forecast by the Victorian Treasury.

Fair Go Rates is just one part of the Labor Government’s local government reform agenda, which also includes a review of the Local Government Act, an overhaul of council governance standards and KnowYourCouncil.vic.gov.au.

Any council wishing to apply for a higher cap has until 31 March to apply to the ESC and will be expected to demonstrate extensive consultation with their local communities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

We committed to capping council rates to inflation and putting an end to uncontrolled rate rises. We’re delivering on that promise.”

The Fair Go Rates cap doesn’t stop councils taking on new projects. Instead it ensures councils are listening to local residents and responding to their needs.”

The Fair Go Rates cap will increase the transparency and accountability of councils across the state.”

 

I have been saying for years that Manningham council could not care less about what you or I think. They are only interested in themselves, lining their own pockets, their salaries, superannuation, benefits and increasing rates as much as they can.

It is good to hear that the State Government has exactly the same view of local governments (including Manningham Council). That is, they don't listen to their residents.

On a somewhat related matter, please also note that Manningham Council often complains about 'cost shifting'. That is where the State Government gets local councils to do more work but does not give them the funding to do it. Manningham Council complains bitterly about 'cost shifting' in their budget and other documents.

Given the attitude toward local councils expressed above, it is highly likely that the State Government also thinks that local council staff are over paid, do not work efficiently and could do a lot more with what they have and receive. As you may be aware from my other articles on this website, I also am in complete agreement with them on that point.

 

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