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.’’
Two men were taken to hospital after a collision near Tatura.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons defeated Corowa Rutherglen Roos by 76 points at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
REGIONAL Victorians will be invited to get up close and personal with Graham (pictured above) – the face of a world-first Transport Accident Commission road safety initiative.
AFTER 46 years of garden growing, Rochester and District Garden Club members are hanging up their spades, drying out their gloves and getting ready to watch the weeds grow.
Gift fundraiser is looking for toddler talent.
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.
THE Heathcote Community will come together once again to honour the memory of car accident victim Georgia Edsall-French at a memorial day this Saturday.
Katamatite Lions Club held its 42nd annual handover dinner at the Boosey Creek Tavern on July 13.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
The demand for organic milk in Australia is outstripping supply, creating an opportunity for the region’s dairy farmers.
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.