City of Canning boss says time to ‘get facts straight’ on rate rises

City of Canning boss says time to ‘get facts straight’ on rate rises

CITY of Canning chief executive Arthur Kyron has come out against reports the council’s rates were rising exponentially, saying it was time to “get the facts straight”.

In the 2016-17 budget, the general rate increased by 5.9 per cent, the largest increase in the metropolitan area; however, Canning rates remain the lowest.

“The general rate increase is 5.9 per cent, the waste service charge increased by 1.4 per cent and the security levy did not increase at all,” Mr Kyron said.

“The overall increase in rates and charges for an average property in Canning is 4.2 per cent; the aggregate average rate increase for the past four years is 24.3 per cent, not 28 per cent.”

Mr Kyron said the increase in residential rates and charges equated to $1.20 overall, made up of 0.92 cents for council rates and charges and 0.28 cents in other state government charges.

He called for proper comparison to neighbouring councils, comparing services within rates.

“Rates and charges are used by the City to fund the services and facilities it provides for the community,” he said.

“A proper comparison of rates across local governments needs to look at the total amount charged and all services delivered, not just the general rate component, as different councils include different services within this rate.”

Mr Kyron said the 2016-17 budget, which passed before he arrived as chief executive, was adopted within the context of the City’s long-term financial planning framework and aimed to address key financial sustainability requirements such as asset management and renewal of community infrastructure, in line with Department of Local Government’s financial health indicators.

He said overall, residents were satisfied with what they got with their rates.

“In our most recent survey, 77 per cent of the community indicated a high level of satisfaction with the value for money from rates,” Mr Kyron said.

He said the council had more staff in comparison to others because services were largely provided in-house.

“Most City services are delivered by the City’s own staff, thus reflecting higher-than-average staffing levels when compared to councils that outsource many of these services… for example, the City’s care services area employs approximately 230 staff.

“This year’s budget was adopted with a small surplus to allow our newly elected council to respond to community needs as they arise over the course of the financial year.”