Shire rejects bin subsidies

‘The view was it would be a minimal advantage for maximum upheaval and there would have been not much advantage in doing it,’ Shire president Rachel Thomas said.

In a bid to pay for an expected increase in rubbish removal costs of up to 1.5 per cent in the next 12 months, staff investigated whether shops and ratepayers without aged concessions could pay more for their general, green and verge waste services that in 2013-14 cost $576.36 for each household.

Having different rating levels for seniors, business and other residents was first considered in talks before the 2011-12 budget.

However, the idea was not presented to councillors because businesses were being affected by the retail downturn that year.

Last week, the council reconsidered differential rates for waste charges because any potential change must be available for public consultation for two months.

It was proposed all waste services, including valet bin collection and return, be paid separately, that businesses pay 15 per cent more than the residential rate and seniors card holders get a 50 per cent concession.

Differential rates and separate charges would have reduced the rates assessments of 273 residents and increased the amount for the remaining 399 properties in the suburb.

‘It was found that if the new methodology would have been applied in 2013-2014, an additional $5700 would have been generated,’ staff said.

However, councillors disagreed.

‘A flat-rate waste charge would have increased rates disproportionally for the lower property values compared with the higher-value properties,’ Mrs Thomas said.

The proposals may be reconsidered before the 2015-16 budget.

Chief executive John Merrick said funding for the valet service would be in the 2014-15 budget to be considered by the council next month.