I also attended the Rate Challengers meeting at Venus Bay recently.
I read Guy Blaauw’s response with interest.
I agree with him that there is a notable lack of any acceptance of the concept of cost control.
I was astounded to learn that ratepayers throughout the shire pay the same rate per dollar regardless of services supplied.
An example would be the comparison between Leongatha and Venus Bay.
Roads: Leongatha, all sealed, kerbed and have footpaths and drainage; Venus Bay, few sealed roads, no kerbs, almost no footpaths, no drainage.
Water and sewerage: Leongatha, town water and sewerage; Venus Bay, tank water and septic tanks.
Streetscape: Leongatha, planted and maintained street gardens, Christmas street decorations and probably New Year fireworks; Venus Bay, none of the above.
I am sure that there are many other examples of differentiation of council supplied services.
I am not objecting to Leongatha receiving these services and many of them are not applicable to Venus Bay.
I object to paying the same rate as Leongatha without the services.
Further to services that Venus Bay residents may desire, I suggest that the council send out a questionnaire with the next rates notice showing potential options and additional costs where applicable such as sealing roads.
This could then be followed up with a council meeting in Venus Bay to discuss the outcomes and a timetable of reducing rates ASAP.
Clive Cooke, Venus Bay.
Editor’s note: Fair point about roads, paths, gardens and drains, but water and sewerage are matters to take up with South Gippsland Water, not the council. The Leongatha Business Association provides the Christmas decorations and fireworks with the help of council Community Grants which are available to clubs and organisations across the shire.