Rate increase shows growth

If the budget is backed by councillors after the submission period, the average household will be asked to pay $1485 in consolidated rates.

Cockburn finance director Stuart Downing said the increase of 89 cents per week was needed to accommodate the City�s growing operation and capital program, estimated at $209.79 million.

The City is also moving to consolidate rates for �residential improved properties� � any land zoned, held or used for residential purposes and having improvements erected on it � with the waste management service charge and the community surveillance levy into one rates charge.

�This will enable the City�s more than 6000 registered pensioners to obtain a rebate of 100 per cent of the rates charges issued by the City,� Mr Downing said.

�For all other rating categories, a separate waste management service charge and community surveillance levy will be applied.�

Acting chief executive Daniel Arndt said the major factor to rising operational costs and a sign the City was growing all the time was increased service delivery, as well as asset depreciation costs.

�The other factor is the 4 per cent staff pay rise included in the last year of the City�s current workplace enterprise agreement, with staff costs making up 38 per cent of the City�s operating costs,� Mr Arndt said.

Among the projects over the coming year is the regional aquatic and recreation facility at Cockburn Central West, the Bibra Lake adventure playground, the Lakes revitalisation strategy and the expansion of Beeliar Drive to four lanes between Spearwood Avenue and Durnin Avenue.

The submission period closes on June 8.