Rates to rise by 4 per cent

Fred Riebeling was the only councillor to vote against the increase, claiming it was too high.

The increase compares with Rockingham’s 6.9 per cent, Murray’s 7 per cent and Bunbury’s 10.9 per cent.

Deputy Mayor Darren Lee defended the increase, saying the council could have approved between 5 and 6 per cent and had worked hard to keep it down.

Cr Don Pember believed the increase was reasonable for what the council provided. ‘We have studied line by line the expenditure put before us,” he said.

‘I know it will be tough for some but hope they appreciate how much work the council put into the budget.”

Councillors voted against an appeal by Cr Ron Wortley for a small reduction in the fees and allowances paid to elected members. The reduction would have amounted to less than $100 in most cases.

‘A small reduction in fees would show the community the council is supportive,” he said.

The council also adopted an instalment interest rate of 5.5 per cent on rates payments, applying to the second, third and fourth instalments and a 7 per cent interest charge on overdue rates.