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.
Organisers of the Challenge Shepparton triathlon will donate half the entry fees from entrants in the ‘community team challenge’ to the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THIS year’s Winter Blues Festival is just around the corner — kicking off for the first time on a Thursday at the Star Hotel, American Hotel and Antonio’s on the Port.
ROCHESTER went sugar free for the day on Thursday for National Diabetes Week, with the inaugural Great Sugar Free Bake Off.
Elle Groves will achieve a remarkable milestone this week, in what is already a remarkable A grade netball career with Kyabram, when she steps onto the court on Saturday for her 100th game.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
ONCE in a while some people are lucky enough to stumble across their destiny.
Moira Shire welcomed 25 new citizens on Thursday as people from across the world chose to make Australia their home.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.