City of Subiaco rates to go up 4.1% after backlash to proposed 8.7% rise

City of Subiaco rates to go up 4.1% after backlash to proposed 8.7% rise

CITY of Subiaco councillors have voted in favour of a 4.1 per cent rate rise for the 2016-17 Budget.

Councillors voted 8-2 for the budget at Tuesday night’s special council meeting.

The budget decision was deferred last month following backlash over a proposed 8.7 per cent rate rise, which was planned to offset the impact of the City of Perth Act.

Councillor Hugh Richardson spoke in favour of the budget, but said if it was not for the Act, Subiaco rates would have been one of the lowest across the local governments at 1 per cent.

“None of this would be necessary if it wasn’t for the State Government,” he said.

“In this budget the council has given Premier Colin Barnett, Tony Simpson and Bill Marmion a get out of jail free card.”

Cr Paul Clements said the Act was a disaster, but commended City officers on reducing the rate rise from 8.7 per cent.

Cr Peter McAllister voted against the item and said he believed rates could be lower.

“I think next year we need to fight… to have zero rate rises over the next four years.”

The City will lose $43 million over the next 10 years because of the changes brought about by the Act, which came into effect on July 1.

Chief Executive Don Burnett said the City had taken measures to halve the impact from the Act, but were still considering options to deal with the ongoing shortfall.

“The 2016-17 Budget has been adopted as the most beneficial approach for the City and the community in the long term,” he said.

“The City has made significant changes to mitigate the impact of the City of Perth Act, including reducing its annual operating costs by over $3 million, which has left a $1.3 million shortfall as a result of the Act.”

Mr Burnett said the City did not plan on seeking further compensation from the City of Perth or the State Government.

He said Council would consider reducing the number of councillors to help deal with the shortfall.

“Council will consider a range of options in relation to wards and the number of city councillors,” he said. “Once endorsed by Council, community consultation will take place.”