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I smell another rate rise

Dear Editor, People might have forgotten that the mayor and the general manager and Mr Pollock and Mr Brown are the ones who were responsible for voting for a special rate variation.

Above: 11,000 signatures saying NO to a rate rise. Photo supplied.

I remember very vividly signing a petition in Batemans Bay and everyone was lining up to sign it saying that they didn't want the rate increase and all the things council were promising and what they wanted was for them to paint the bloody toilets, sand paper and oil the picnic tables and tighten their ever expanding belts as they supped at a trough that we were paying for. Council had distributed a flyer seeking a Special Rate Variation (SRV). The Council flyer was highly misleading and they lost a lot of face because of that doing a big spin around to put new numbers out.

They were also not up front with their average rate and failed to communicate to ratepayers who pay more than average rates because they lived close to the coast (like most of us do) would pay considerably more. In simple terms a "real" average $2,000 P/A rate bill would see an increase of over $500. Also remember that future rate increases are to be added to that rate. The rates will NOT revert to back to the original figure plus CPI rate after 3 years which is now in the last year. That means that they can cry poor again and ask for another rate rise. They have to don't they? They keep saying that they don't have enough money. They rationalise services and facilities and the wages bill climbs every year so it is obvious we have to pay higher rates. The benefits that were offered in the rate increase flyer were not reflected by the massive rates hike they proposed and then approved. No matter what was proposed Council already had enough revenue to do any of the things shown on the flyer wish list if it were to stop wasting money on unnecessary staff and unnecessary activities (viz. Non-core business). The Mayor tells us that there won't be a rate hike for the new swimming pool but they haven't revealed any true costings for expected depreciation and running costs and everyone is of the opinion that they have grossly over estimated their revenue stream. With NO ONE home in the audit committee to check the actualities of the financial models and even to offer some insight into the purchase of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club within the rules of procurement how can we trust the band of four (GM, Mayor, Brown and Pollock) to persuade two unwitting Councillors to agree to press IPART for another rate rise on the pretext that if we build it they will come. There has been no evidence whatsoever of council pulling in its belt. Save the pennies and the pounds look after themselves... get rid of the Mystery Shopper for a start and then lets have a good look at how Council manages to grossly over estimate how much a dog fence costs. Name and address supplied


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