Ridgewood retirees upset at paying more in rates per square metre than neighbours


Settlers Ridgewood Rise residents Elaine Fleming, Trevor Beal, Ann Klemm, Ray Thompson, Penny Beal, Bernie Frayne, Brian Griffin and John Ashley. Picture: Martin Kennealey d478011
Settlers Ridgewood Rise residents Elaine Fleming, Trevor Beal, Ann Klemm, Ray Thompson, Penny Beal, Bernie Frayne, Brian Griffin and John Ashley. Picture: Martin Kennealey d478011

RETIREES in Ridgewood say they are paying three times as much in rates per square metre as their neighbours.

Settlers Ridgewood Rise Lifestyle Village residents are still campaigning to have their rates category reviewed after Wanneroo council rejected their latest petition at its December meeting.

Resident and finance group co-chair Ray Thompson said they were disappointed the council would not review their position ahead of setting the next round of rates.

According to a council report, the City levied rates of $303,578 in the 2017-18 financial year for the village, which has 241 brick-and-tile units.

In a deputation to the council, Mr Thompson said that meant village residents were paying an average of $8.67 per square metre.

He analysed the rates of five other Ridgewood properties, which each had four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double garage, and found their rates were about $2.78 per square metre.

“This clearly identifies that Settlers Ridgewood residents pay significantly more council rates for their small units than families living in big houses on big blocks,” he said.

“We pay more than three times the rate by square metre than the four-bedroom units.”

Mr Thompson said the retirees also had to pay fees for maintenance of the internal roads, street lights and landscaping in their private Ridgewood Boulevard estate.

“We are not looking for a major reduction in our rates, only recognition for what we pay that others get through their rates,” he said.

At the meeting, councillor Domenic Zappa acknowledged it had been a longstanding issue but said the council was bound by State legislation.

He successfully moved an amendment to the recommendation that the City write to the State Government to convey the petitioners’ concerns and for those to be considered in the Local Government Act review.

The report to the council said the lifestyle village fell into the residential improved rating category as a privately owned property.

It said other villages, including two RAAFA estates in Merriwa, Brightwater Care Group’s Madeley facility, the Wanneroo Aged Persons Home Trust and Bethanie Beachside in Yanchep, were exempt from rates because they had nursing home components.

“Loss of rate revenue relevant for the independent living units that are rate exempt totals $1,092,766 for the 2017-18 financial year,” the report said.

Crs Linda Aitken, Sonet Coetzee and Lara Simpkins voted against the staff recommendation to refuse the petitioners’ request, while 11 elected members supported it.

According to the report, the 2017-18 rates levied against the Lake Joondalup Lifestyle Village in Ashby, which has 316 fibro demountable homes, were $160,990.

The City charged $112,294 to the National Lifestyle Villages’ Pineview facility in Tapping, which has 230 fibro demountable homes.

The rates for Regents Garden Residential Resort in Wanneroo, which has 63 brick-and-tile units, were set at $79,200 and it was $49,078 for Lakelands Leisure Village in Gnangara, which has 109 fibro demountable homes.

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