Conservative Rate Increase Passed by Council

Rates to Increase by $2 a week for Average Household

After weighing up the needs of our community and current cost-of-living pressures, Council has decided to increase rates by 4.9% which equates to $2 a week for the average household. 

The decision was made at this month’s council meeting, after councillors considered community feedback.
Shire President, Julia Meldrum acknowledged rising costs are impacting everyone in the community and said the 2024/25 budget had carefully considered potential savings to minimise the rate increase.

“Rates are the community’s investment in making our shire a great place to live and the increase will ensure we can fund all the services our community expects and deserves,” said Julia.

“We’re a growing community so have more expenses, with more roads, parks and footpaths to maintain, and at the same time it is costing us more to do those things because of inflation.”

While the increase was considered to be relatively conservative given the 15% increase passed in Capel or the 7% increases in Busselton, Bunbury, and Harvey, the Shire President acknowledged any rate increase impacts household budgets.

“At the end of a day, an increase is an increase, so we have kept the increase to a minimum and we’ll be removing any fees associated with paying rates in instalments.”

Exactly how the rates will be invested over the next 12 months was also outlined in the draft budget tabled to council. Close to $16 million has been allocated for projects and improvements around the whole Shire including new paths, road repairs, sporting ground upgrades and new play spaces in almost all towns.

Council is also increasing proactive advocacy efforts across all levels of government to secure a greater funding for Augusta Margaret River. In addition to a series of proactive meetings with the State Premier and other key ministers the Shire President will travel to Canberra next month to strengthen relationships with federal politicians and ensure the needs of our community are heard.

“It just doesn’t seem fair that our ratepayers are the only ones investing in services used by visitors and local alike, so we want to work in partnership with all levels of Government to ensure our shire continues to be a great place to live,” 

The final budget will be considered at the July Council meeting. 

28 Jun 2024 Topic Type
General News
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