Campaspe Shire councillors adopted the Budget, complete with a 6 per cent rate rise.July 8, 2014 3:11am
Campaspe Shire’s decision to raise rates by 6 per cent was responsible, according to some of the nine councillors.
Councillors adopted the Budget, complete with a 6 per cent rate rise, in a tense meeting at Echuca Civic Centre on Tuesday.
Cr Emma Bradbury tried to move a last-minute motion to lower the rate rise from 6 per cent to 5.5 per cent.
Cr Neil Pankhurst and mayor Ian Maddison attacked Cr Bradbury’s motion.
Both suggested a 7.5 per cent rate increase was a more responsible decision, given the Federal Government’s decision to freeze indexation of Financial Assistance Grants for local government.
Cr Maddison said Cr Bradbury’s motion was laughable and that the draft Budget up for adoption had no fat in it.
Cr Pankhurst also put the issue of reducing council costs back onto the 2627 ratepayers who signed a petition calling for rate rises to remain at CPI.
‘‘While they said they did not want another 6 per cent rate rise, they did not offer any solutions on how to lower costs,’’ he said.
‘‘Well, in fairness to them, that is not their job,’’ Cr Bradbury said in response.
Cr Bradbury identified cuts of $15,000 to a hydrotherapy pool study, $99,500 in organisation savings, $30,000 less in cash reserves and a reduction in the municipal charge from $150 to $100 as a way to deliver a fairer and more balanced budget.
Cr Bradbury said her proposal, while being a modest decrease for the ratepayer still offered a balanced budget.
‘‘It is disingenuous and disrespectful to the community to say that the only way for things to happen is to either increase rates or cut services,’’ she said.
‘‘It is time for us to consider a whole range of options.’’
Councillors rejected her motion five votes to four.
Cr Paul Jarman called for councillors to adopt the draft Budget.
He said council was listening to ratepayers who were concerned about paying another 6 per cent increase, describing the budget process as a long, hard road.
Cr Adrian Weston said he was ashamed to be a part of a council which had ignored the wishes of so many ratepayers.
Cr Weston said rates had tripled in the past 15 years, while the shire had a similar population.
Cr Maddison attacked Cr Weston on the figures.
‘‘You plucked a figure out of the archives, well let’s look at the facts,’’ he said.
‘‘Fifteen years ago our capital works expenditure was a quarter of what it was then and we were building assets hand over fist without anything put aside to renew or replace them.
‘‘We could have gone down the path of raising rates by 9 per cent and closing our asset renewal gap.
‘‘There is an expectation of us to provide services, maintain halls and roads as well as provide services.’’
Cr Maddison said he was taken back by the irresponsibility of some councillors who supported Cr Bradbury’s motion.
Most of them claimed the 6 per cent rise was irresponsible.
‘‘It is naive to think that there would not be long-term implications,’’ he said.
‘‘A 6 per cent rate rise is the most responsible decision for the future.’’
Emergency Services in Greater Shepparton gain valuable equipment
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
CLAIRE Murphy came home the other day.
BE LIKE Barry — the video by Campaspe Shire to educate children about recycling — was launched at St Mary’s Primary School on Monday.
WYUNA’s Memorial Hall was filled with over 80 people for the recent launch of the Wyuna History Group’s third book by Wyuna History Group researcher Noel Thompson – Wyuna Honour Roll 1914-1918.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
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.
WINE is meant to be enjoyed with good food and good friends.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
Deni’s Debutante Ball gurus Vicki Ackers and Deb O’Connor love working with youth.
Tuesday, August 16
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.