MAYOR Peter Maguire has been congratulated for maintaining council’s stance on the soaring rates hike hitting rural ratepayers.
Minister for Local Government Desley Boyle said the rates issue was about “who has to pay” to make up for the lack of future infrastructure planning.
“Councils have stepped up to the mark and are making up for the sins of the past where you might have had happy ratepayers paying bugger-all rates but they weren’t getting the infrastructure for the future and that has to be made up for now,” Ms Boyle said.
“Really, we’re all pointing to each other in terms of wanting money and none of us have any right now.”
She said the CHRC was a “good, strong council” that had reached rates parity across all former shires since council amalgamation in 2008, which had “been tough”.
“If the council suddenly was doing better in terms of some stream of income, then they could lower the rate in the dollar,” Ms Boyle said.
“I do think a lot of the mayors in amalgamated shires and the councillors are going to be punished for doing the hard work, which is really not fair.”
However, she said concerns over the rates hike would settle down once ratepayers saw the benefits.
“Once they can see, I’m sure, the actual gap that’s closing and the rate that is being struck by the council is for good reason in terms of infrastructure and is fair, then I think... they (farmers) will settle down.
“So it was a bit of a pain for a while when that gap has to be closed, but that’s how life is.”
“Councils... are making up for the sins of the past where you might have had happy ratepayers paying bugger-all.”
Minister Desley Boyle
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