Rate cap numbers cause confusion
Congratulations to Bendigo Advertiser reporter William Vallely for exposing the City of Greater Bendigo’s apparent inability to come to grips with its own rate cap reality.
In a 30 May article, ‘Services, jobs at risk through rate cappingl’, he noted a council executive claimed the state government's rate capping policy may cost the City of Greater Bendigo $25m over seven years.
Then he reported in a 26 October article, ‘$194 million budget shortfall over 10 years due to rate capping', that Council CEO Craig Niemann voiced a $194 million estimate to a state government inquiry into the sustainability of rural and regional councils.
That’s a whopping extra $169 million difference over three years! Maybe new calculators need to be ordered.
Does council know something we don’t, or is it bloating? No wonder residents get confused.
How can it be council claims it needs higher rates when Greater Bendigo residents were not consulted about the Council’s rate cap position?
The submission was never debated in the Council Chamber; it should have been. Residents do not know what projects and services were identified. Where do your ward councillors’ stand?
No submission appeared on Council’s website nor any media release.
Residents found out about council’s presentation through local newspapers.
Member for Northern Victoria, Luke O’Sullivan observed at the inquiry,” “If you were to put everything into place that is in that document, you would probably be increasing rates by six or seven per cent,”
Bronwyn Halfpenny, Thomastown Member of Legislative Assembly questioned whether “Bendigo ratepayers could continue to wear the average 8.1 per cent increase in rates and charges they had copped over the last four years.”
I are certain residents, would overwhelmingly reject council’s disdain and continuation of its history of rich rate rises.
Council must engage and inform the public better than this.
Ted Coleman, Strathfieldsaye
Australia has been colonized by England.
Our government has been established on Westminster principle.
Our official language is English.
We were using English currency and imperial measures before decimalization.
Our sovereign, the Queen is English.
I cannot see why English nationals cannot be Australian politicians.
Is that another plot by multinationals to take Australia over?
Jiri Kolenaty, Rushworth
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