Concerned about spiralling rate increases in South Gippsland Shire (9.7% this year on my property) I decided it was time to lodge an objection to my current valuation.
As stated on the back of the Rate Notice: “Forms are available from Council office during normal working hours.”
Easy, right? Not so. Asking at reception I am told – surprise, surprise – that they don’t have any forms on hand at the front desk at the moment.
I am told I will need to talk to a functionary from the ever-expanding Fobbing Off Department. When this person appears do they have the form I am seeking to pursue my simple, legitimate enquiry?
No, of course not.
Instead I am subjected to something akin to an interrogation, followed by a mini lecture based on the barely-disguised opinion that I am an ignorant inconvenience, punctuated by loaded reminders that I should truly be “thankful” that I am not actually being charged more.
I leave, dumbfounded. Without the form.
Well, South Gippsland Shire, would you like to know what I’d actually be “thankful” for? Try: Shire officers who don’t think their primary purpose at the organisation is to give ratepayers the run-around, misdirect them, and waste their time.
I’d be thankful if my very old, very modest house didn’t attract a rate more aligned with a South Yarra mansion; and I’d be particularly thankful if I thought that my rates weren’t funding a disorganised three-ring circus that has completely lost sight of customer service.
This week is the last week ratepayers will be allowed to lodge an objection to their 2018-2019 Notice. Don’t hold back. Lodge an objection. If you can get a form.
Name and address supplied.