Canning budget blow

Canning Commissioner Linton Reynolds at the budget meeting last week.
Canning Commissioner Linton Reynolds at the budget meeting last week.

Rubbish charges will also increase by almost 4 per cent to $339, up $13 on last year.

Commissioner Linton Reynolds said it might seem a big increase but hoped residents would understand.

‘I’m sure people will be unhappy at the bigger bill, but no-one has contacted me asking for reduced services,’ Mr Reynolds said.

He said Canning would have one of the lowest rates in the metropolitan area even after the increases.

‘The average rates and charges for a City of Canning residential property (including waste charges and security charge) for 2013-2014 amount to $1029,’ he said. ‘This represents an increase of $86 per year or $1.65 per week.’

Mr Reynolds said the Emergency Services Levy was a State Government charge and would rise by 6.72 per cent.

‘Council is only a collection agent on behalf of the State for these funds, and it is not included in our average rates and charges calculations,’ Mr Reynolds said.

Mr Reynolds said several one-off costs had made it harder to balance the budget this year. He said a number of factors had also affected the City of Canning’s year-end savings, reducing the amount of money available.

Significant settlement and associated legal costs associated with a claim for injurious affection, resulting from a planning decision many years ago, were paid from anticipated savings.

‘The City was also required to pay $520,000 to the Department for Communities and Local Government for the Authorised Officer’s Inquiry into the former council,’ he said.

Additional costs included an increase in State Government charges, higher insurance costs, reduced interest earnings due to lower interest rates, resulting in a lower return on investments totalling $1 million.

‘Other expenses, which the previous council deferred, have become due, and we have provided for the addition of staff to ensure the governance issues which led to the current inquiry are not repeated,’ he said.