Shire budget to share rates burden

The budget will also see a long-term vision to upgrade Binda Place come to fruition with nearly $700,000 allocated to get the project underway this year.

A new rating strategy was also introduced this year, which changes 1642 properties changed from Unimproved Value to Gross Rental Value.

Chief executive Gary Tuffin said the rating system signalled no changes to the Shire�s bottom line but ensured ratepayers were billed fairly and equitably.

Mr Tuffin said the zero overall rate revenue increase was recommended to avoid community concerns of the rating strategy being a �money grab�, as some residents previously suggested.

�Throughout the distribution of rates there will be some assessments that will have increases and some assessments that will have decreases,� he said.

�This is due to the rate burden being spread more evenly throughout the shire.�

Among the features of the budget are upgrades to the car park at Clune Park and Muchea Hall, completion of the Chittering Health Centre and a toilet and shower facility at Lower Chittering Oval.

Roadworks totalling $2 million will start on Chittering Road and Black Spot areas along Julimar Road, Muchea East and Wandena roads and Blue Plains and Maddern roads.

The budget was one of the last measures approved by the now-defunct Shire of Chittering Council.

Former president Robert Hawes said passing an overall rate increase of nil was �a splendid thing to achieve�.