City adopts 2.95 per cent rate rise

Bayswater Civic Centre. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Bayswater Civic Centre. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

CITY of Bayswater residents will pay less than 70 cents a week extra on their rates bill in 2019-20.

The City budget adopted on July 2 includes a 2.95 per cent rate rise, with a minimum rate of $906.

Councillors voted 6-4 for the budget, with Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish, Crs Elli Petersen-Pik, Michelle Sutherland and Filomena Piffaretti voting against.

An owner of an average-sized property will pay an increase of less than 70 cents a week or $37 on their annual rates bill.

One per cent or $456,088 of the rates increase will go towards a reserve fund for upgrade ageing infrastructure in the future.

Key features of the budget include the renewal of roof cladding at Bayswater Waves ($12,000), roof replacement at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre ($102,000), playground replacements ($50,000), PC replacement program ($222,000), plant and fleet replacement program ($2,005,000), a lift at Bayswater Library ($40,000) and stage two of the ongoing Maylands Lakes restoration program ($525,000).

There will be $85 million invested in programs and services.

The budget was formed after the council completed its first participatory budgeting process, in which more than 250 people took part in drop-in sessions and an online budget allocator, while 31 people joined a community panel which made recommendations across 19 service areas.

Mayor Dan Bull.

Mayor Dan Bull said this was a new approach in developing the budget.

“I am incredibly impressed with the passion and commitment of the community panel,” he said.

“The community panel indicated a rate increase of between CPI and 3.5 per cent would be acceptable.

“We took this feedback on board, opting to increase rates by 2.95 per cent. Of this, 1.95 per cent incorporates the local government cost index determined by the WA Local Government Association.”

Cr Cornish said while it was a good budget, he wanted to see more cuts, including $50,000 for camera equipment.

Cr Cornish said he was concerned with the City waiving rates for community leases under the new policy because there were groups that signed 10-year leases before July 1.

The council adopted 3.5 per cent and 4.9 per cent rate rises in the past two financial years.

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