ratesnoticeWEB2BEN is a nurse. He works night shift.

But he hasn’t been able to get to sleep after seeing the increase in his shire’s rates notice which arrived on the kitchen table on Thursday.

“I’m in shock. $300 extra for what,” said Ben Shields of Korumburra.

“What extra services do we get? They don’t grade the road. They don’t pick up our rubbish. What do they do? Where does the money go?

“It’s lucky I’ve picked up another shift.”

Most people can’t pick up another shift, however, and whether it’s $100, $200, $300 or more extra the shire is taking this year; it’s hard to find that sort of money on a tight budget.

“My rates have gone up by $600 in two years. It’s simply not sustainable.”

The South Gippsland Shire admits that it has been avalanched with calls in the past few days but it amounts to delayed shock. The shire council actually set the rates back in July 22, 2015. The headline increase was listed at 4.9% but the shire is actually collecting 6.9% more in total rates and charges.

What do they do with the money? Take a look at the shire’s sexy new website. That probably accounted for a fair slab of the increase!