City of Wanneroo rates to increase by 2 per cent with waste fees excluded

The City of Wanneroo's civic centre.
The City of Wanneroo's civic centre.

WANNEROO households will face a rates increase of 2 per cent on average next financial year, with waste fees excluded for the first time.

The council adopted its 2018-19 Budget last night, including the average rate increase of 2 per cent for the residential improved category.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said that increase equated to less than $1 a week for the average ratepayer during the June 26 meeting and the Budget contained “no surprises”.

“We have identified savings and worked hard to ensure that the financial impact on our community is kept as low as possible,” she said.

“The City has worked diligently to find efficiencies and cost savings in operations, avoiding the need to pass on the State Government’s full 7 per cent increase for electricity and 5 per cent for water.”

A council report said the increase was lower than predicted, with the City’s long term financial plan projecting a 2.5 per cent increase.

Councillor Domenic Zappa said the 2 per cent increase would affect 89 per cent of ratepayers, was less than the CPI increase of 2.25 per cent and less than the 2.95 per cent rates increase advertised in May.

Mrs Roberts said waste costs would be itemised in the rates notices, allowing for more transparency and a “user-pays waste management model in the future”.

“This continued increase in waste costs highlights the need for us all, the City and community, to accept greater joint responsibility for the way we manage waste,” she said.

In previous years, councillors have said including waste in the overall rates maximised the rates rebate for pensioners.

The report said there would be a discount for some pensioners who get a reduced rebate as a result of the change.

According to the agenda for Mindarie Regional Council’s July 5 meeting, the gate fee will increase by 15 per cent, or $31, for member councils, including the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup.

It said the increase resulted from a decrease in the amount of waste expected from the seven member councils, predicted to drop 20 per cent from 252,090 to 200,442 tonnes.

The report said the gate fee increase also resulted from the State Government’s $5 increase to the landfill levy, which will cost $70 per tonne from July 1.

Mrs Roberts said the City’s budget included $67 million for capital works projects in 2018-19, with a focus on connecting communities and improving access.

During a confidential session at the June 26 meeting, the Wanneroo council agreed to refuse an offer by Cleanaway relating to recycling collection services.

It will require the company to continue collecting recycling from households as per its contract, which the Weekender understands is due for review next year.

Rates notices are due to be issued on September 7 and ratepayers can opt to pay in one, two or four instalments.

City of Wanneroo minimum rates 2018-19

Residential improved: $971

Strata titled caravan parks: $141

Residential vacant: $975

Commericial and industrial (improved and vacant): $1344

Strata titled storage units: $672

Rural and mining improved: $963

Rural and mining vacant: $912

City of Wanneroo 2018-2019 Budget key areas

$189 million: operating expenses

$131 million: rates revenue

$72.9 million: employee costs

$61 million: roads, street lighting and pathways

$60.4 million: materials and contracts

$44.15 million: fees and charges

$40.4 million: asset depreciation

$32.8 million: sporting facilities

$27 million: waste and recycling

$24 million: parks, playgrounds and conservation

$12.4 million: community safety and health

$9.7 million: utility charges

$9.1 million: incoming grants, contributions and subsidies

$8.9 million: interest earnings

$4.9 million: predicted surplus

$4.1 million: interest expenses