A public meeting in Jerilderie last week expressed a 'general feeling of unhappiness' surrounding proposed rate increases.SOPHIE BURGE May 28, 2014 3:11am
Jerilderie Shire Council says it will hold further meetings on proposed plans to increase its income, after describing a ‘‘general feeling of unhappiness’’ at last week’s public meeting.
Council has proposed to increase rates by 10 per cent a year in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.
It also recommended cost cutting measures which included only having one librarian rostered on at one time, introducing a user pays waste depot model and removing lifeguard positions for the Jerilderie pool.
Jerilderie Shire general manager Craig Moffitt maintains the changes are necessary to ensure council can continue meeting community standards.
He said a combination of low to no rate increases over 25 years and ever reducing government funding has put the council in a dire financial situation.
Mr Moffitt said while residents at the meeting understood council’s position, the cost cutting measures were not whole-heartedly supported.
He said the proposed increases to rates and changes to library staffing were particular sticking points at the meeting.
‘‘Concern was expressed from the rural ratepayers that they’re shouldering the burden, as the biggest financial portion of the rates comes from them,’’ he said.
‘‘Other planned proposals generally had support at the meeting, however concerns were expressed about reduction in staffing at the library.
‘‘We plan to host another public meeting because we need to reflect on consequences on the Federal Government’s proposal to not index the financial assistance grants, which is one of our major sources of income.
‘‘This will have a very dramatic effect on our ability to provide services, so we’ll need to take that back to the community as well.’’
The proposed 10 per cent rate increase for future financial years is significantly higher than the state imposed 2.3 per cent cap.
Council must have the approval of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to pass on the increase.
Mr Moffitt said it would make up much of the losses, and that support from the community would help the process.
While the increases and cuts are yet to be officially adopted by Jerilderie Shire Council, he said it would proceed with one income raising initiative.
Council will introduce a user pays system at the waste depot, which Mr Moffitt said is soon to be a state government requirement.
‘‘At the moment people pay within their rates, however this new system is part of a state government requirement that is just around the corner.
‘‘We’ve been preparing for it and it will be introduced this year.’’
An official start date of the user pays system is yet to be confirmed. A pricing structure is also yet to be released.
Mr Moffitt said as part of the new structure and government requirements, the waste depot would be manned by a council employee.
A date for the next public meeting had not yet been announced.
The facilitator of a new program to help empower women with a disability to become leaders in the community says it is time to stand up.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Race two of Kyabram’s Harness Racing meet, held at Echuca on Sunday evening, was declared a no-race when the Michael Bellman-driven Never Look Back fell with about 800m remaining.
Hundreds rose early for Dawn Services across the district on Saturday to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
Heathcote police are appealing for information after a woman was injured in a hit-and-run incident on Anzac Day.
Cobram Barooga locals are being asked to host an Australia's Biggest Morning Tea to raise money for the Australian Cancer Council.
The Deniliquin Domestic Violence Liaison Committee hosted a community lunch at the ‘Rocket Park’ on Thursday to celebrate the launch of its new banner.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.