Omissions keep rates among lowest

Councillors passed the budget last week with a rate increase of 3.92 per cent.

‘In the past, a lot of things went on the budget that weren’t delivered, which meant the rate kept on going up,’ Ms MacTiernan said.

‘We’re trying to go through the budget in finer detail and take out those things we’re not going to be able to deliver so we can still have an expanded program that doesn’t require a considerable rate increase.’

Ms MacTiernan said the budget would create a lot of change in the town centres.

‘We have $1.5 million for the Leederville Town Centre Upgrade and about $700,000 for first-rate children’s playgrounds which is necessary because we’ve got a massive increase in the number of kids in the area,’ she said.

‘We’re putting about $600,000 into an energy-efficiency plan, because I’m very concerned about the escalation of our energy costs, and about $260,000 will go to the next stage of the Beaufort Street Upgrade.

‘We also have an expanded festival program, as festivals are an integral part of creating the identity of Vincent. This has become a very desirable place to live and our festivals are part of building that community and supporting local businesses.’

New festivals include a fashion event and a celebration of the Muslim religious holiday Eid.

Annual councillor and mayoral pay increases were also passed at the meeting.

Councillors now receive $22,000 in sitting fees (previously $7000) and their telephone and IT allowance has been combined into one Information and Communication (ICT) sum of $3500.

The mayor receives a $29,500 sitting fee (previously $14,500) and the allowance stays at $60,000 as it was already at its maximum.