Vehicle allocation survives debate

City councillor Paul Hitt pulled out the draft budget allocation of $503,000 for the third car for debate and urged the council not to endorse the allocation.

He passed around newspaper clippings to fellow councillors reporting Federal Government cuts to seniors concessions and said he was concerned about the financial repercussions to ratepayers. He asked why ratepayers should pay for the security of federal land and commercial businesses.

The proposed third car would patrol residential areas by day and the airport and industrial area at night.

Cr Lauren Cayoun said Belmont was already a great place to do business.

Cr Robert Rossi said more than 50 per cent of rates came from commercial rates and the airport: ‘Why ignore your greatest rates base?’.

Cr Patrick Gardner said the demand was in the residential area and asked how many businesses had private patrols.

Cr Janet Powell said 50 per cent of rates equalled $18.5 million, with $7.4 million from the airport alone, and a few years ago the airport felt it was not getting enough services.

‘We have to keep in mind we are looking after all the people in the City of Belmont,’ she said.

Mayor Phil Marks said the council had a better idea of security than private services because its cars attended on average in 10 minutes, not a couple of hours.

Cr Hitt’s motion not to endorse the $503,000 allocation was defeated 4-5.