Shire of Kalamunda withdraws pensioners’ fee

Shire of Kalamunda withdraws pensioners’ fee

THE Shire of Kalamunda has voted to rescind a motion to charge pensioners in the area $15 to process their annual rebate of $750 from the State Government.

Cr Sue Bilich said she moved the motion on Monday, August 22, which was seconded by Shire President Andrew Waddell.

It was unanimously passed by all councillors at the ordinary council meeting.

Cr Waddell said: “Absolutely, yes, we have rescinded the motion”.

“We got legal advice and it was a vague situation and the Act wasn’t precise enough, so we could lose an appeal and it is a moot point now anyway,” he said.

Cr Waddell said the council staff would immediately issue a credit to anyone who had paid the fee.

“We acknowledge that we got this wrong and we are apologetic that the most vulnerable groups in the community had to wear the burden of this cost but we hope they will accept our sincere apology for this error,” he said.

Cr Bilich said she was concerned that pensioners had been considerably upset by the introduction of the processing fee.

“This fee has placed an extra burden on our community’s most vulnerable members,” she said.

“It is unfortunate that this charge managed to get through.”

She said the fee was intended to shift the cost from all ratepayers to those who gained the benefit of the rebates.

The $15 fee was applied to any concession card rebate holder, seniors, pensioners, department of veteran’s affairs and a state concession card holder who was accessing the rebates or concessions.