Pension rebate ire

The Shire of Mundaring offices.
The Shire of Mundaring offices.

Mr McIlhagga said the amount he now had to pay for rates had jumped an incredible $256.

A rates levy, which is now listed separately in the notice instead of in the waste rubbish removal fee, is hitting pensioners who previously received a 50 per cent rebate from the State Government, he said.

Another resident and concession holder for the rebate, John Grenfell from Greenmount, said he was also very disappointed in the council’s stand.

‘They have not given us the required notice that there would be an increase,’ Mr Grenfell said.

‘You can’t just send out the notice with the new amount, you need to inform us in writing,’ he said.

‘A lot of people can’t afford this increase.’

Mr Grenfell quoted from section 6.19 of the Local Government Act in 1995 and said under the section ‘Local government to give notice of fees and charges’, it stated ‘the public must be given notice of its intention to do so, and the date from which it is proposed the fees or charges will be imposed’.

Mr Grenfell said on his account he has lost the 25 per cent seniors discount and the 50 per cent pensioners rebate on residential rates.

Shire of Mundaring chief executive Jonathan Throssell said the waste charges were introduced for 2014-15 because there was a doubling of the State Government Landfill Levy, resulting in an increased charge being passed on to ratepayers.

Mr Throssell said the charges for the waste transfer station were also no longer included in the general rate amount as they previously were, because it was now listed as a separate charge.

He said the 25 per cent discount for pensioners was removed.

The Shire manages more than 22,000 tonnes of waste and recyclables, and empties more than one million bins annually.

Mr McIlhagga said removing without notice the rebate on rubbish collection was an increase of $69.75 for him.

‘They removed the transfer station levy from general rates to a separate item of $147 and as a result they have made pensioners who can least afford it, pay the fee,’ he said.