Agriculture | November 23, 2017

Kealy calls for Council to abandon uniform rates

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is calling on the new Mayor of Ararat Rural City Council to assure ratepayers that Council will not pursue uniform rates.

The recent Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council identified a number of concerns regarding the approach taken by Council in developing its draft rating strategy. This included failing to make the case that a uniform rate would provide a more equitable imposition of rates and charges.

The Commission also found the proposal to move to a uniform rate in 2017/18 would have a significant impact on farming properties and is inconsistent with the requirement of the Local Government Act 1989 that a Council must pursue rating policies consistent with a reasonable degree of stability in the level of rates burden.

“Making a quick buck from our farmers through an ill-conceived rating strategy strongly opposed by the rural community is unacceptable”, Ms Kealy said.

“Council must demonstrate that it has learnt its lesson from the Inquiry and will treat rural property owners in the Ararat Rural City Council with the respect they deserve”.

“I am calling on the new Mayor to give ratepayers confidence in their Council by making a clear commitment that under her mayoral ship, Ararat Rural City Council will not pursue uniform rates.

"Ratepayers in the ARCC are entitled to and need this assurance so that the Council can move forward and deliver a fair and equitable rating strategy for the benefit of all ratepayers as soon as possible”, she said.


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