Mayor spruiks budget benefits

Town of Claremont Mayor Jock Barker with local resident Zeynep Oortgiesen and children Tan (2) and Mina (4). d401688
Town of Claremont Mayor Jock Barker with local resident Zeynep Oortgiesen and children Tan (2) and Mina (4). d401688

‘A 4.6 per cent rate increase, I think, is justifiable and a fair rate increase given all the things we are achieving in the Town ,’ he said.

Mr Barker, who moved to include a reserve fund for underground power at last week’s meeting, said a clear commitment to complete the project was vital.

The remaining work is expected to cost about $7.5 million, with the Town to transfer $1.25 million from its future fund while attracting $3.75 million from the State Government and $2.5 million from ratepayers.

After two failed applications, Mr Barker said the Town needed an underground power reserve fund so money was available when its request to Western Power was accepted.

He said this would also show council was ‘serious’ about their plan, while earmarking funds if amalgamations were to occur.

‘We understand this year that (Western Power’s) criteria has changed,’ he said.

‘(It) was reliability of the network’