We are astonished at the South Gippsland Council’s reversal of its 3% rate reduction in the council plan.
The South Gippsland Action Group applauded the 3% reduction, then each year we were advised to be patient, an 8% reduction was achievable, then late last year a reduction of over 10% was possible.
Now we have the proposed budget pushing a rate increase to the capped limit of 2.5%!
South Gippsland already has the highest residential rate in Gippsland and arguably the highest rates for all, so any suggestion that different ratepayer categories should be competing for rate cuts for their group is not on, we should all get reductions and the council reduce its costs.
I’m sure framing the council budget is difficult and there are very few people with a good understanding of the council’s total financial position, but our council needs to “cut the cloth to suit the measure”.
Our council claims big savings are possible with its shared services initiative, and the proposed budget shows a surplus of $13.772 million and a wages’ saving of $2 million with the handover of HACC, yet are still unable to give any rate relief, what is going on?
Steve Finlay, South Gippsland Action Group President.