Council Meeting Tuesday 10th September 2019
Good Morning Mayor my name is Patricia Hellier from Batemans Bay– today I am here to address item No. CCS19/042 Rating System Review –
Some of you would be aware I was the driver of the 2014/2015 petition against the Special Rate Variation that acquired nearly 11,000 signatures. During this period of time I spoke to a large number of Rate Payers of this shire I believe I know what the majority would feel about this major change.
I have to ask the question why is this very import item only appearing on today's Agenda when the General Manager received an email from Hon Shelley Hancock on the 21st June 2019 some 12 weeks ago and yet a submission is due in 3 days. I will quote a section of this email from Hon. Shelley Hancock “the full suite of recommendations, if implemented, could substantially change our local government system and impact directly upon communities”unquote, yet there has there been NO community consultation surely this quote on it’s own should have raised a “red flag”.
The General Manager is responsible for all matters that appear on the Agenda and given the ultimate affect this will have on the community without any consultation or any scrutiny by rate payers I believe this is showing utter contemptuous attitude to the Rate Payers of this shire.
Councillors can anyone honestly say they know what “Capital Improved Valuation” means and what will be considered as “improvements”, and what dollar factor will that have on a Rate Payer? If there is a change to the CIV who will actually access this value? None of this has been explained!!! So Councillor what are you actually voting for.
In 2015 I became aware that the then Mayor, Lindsay Brown without any community engagement or knowledge placed a submissions to the General Purpose Standing Committee. At a Community Forum Meeting in October 2015 at the Bate mans Bay Soldier Club a Rate Payer asked Lindsay Brown a question words to the affect “did he still supported the submission he had put forward on the Rating Review” Lindsay Brown replied at adamant “YES” the ratepayer then replied “Well we will have a problem then won’t we”. 4 years later this problem has surfaced in a very clandestine manner.
I have a number of concerns with this proposal that is being put forward today without going into each and every point I have concerns with Councils responses to Point 3,4, 12, and 23, as Council “does not support these points” it is quite obvious that this council does not want IPART to have any scrutiny over a future Special rate Variation, Council want an “open ended opportunity to inflict more financial pain on the rate payers of this shire”.
Points No. 26, 27 28 Improve assistance for pensions – I understand that these items are “not for comment” and I realise that Council currently had a “hardship Claus” both my mother and mother in law lived 25 years longer than their husbands – they were both pensioners – they were very independent women who were “battlers” if they were unable to pay their rates after their husbands passed away and if they had to apply for a “deferral scheme with interest” then the facts are the Council could own a larger percentage of the home than the estate.
Many retiree take pleasure in their gardens will they be penalised financially due to their ascetic?
Perhaps the money that this Council is “pl owing into the Botanic Gardens needs closer scrutiny” is the appearance of the Botanic Gardens anymore important than the appearance of a Rate Payers own home?
Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a rate payer in Victoria and I was told that with the changes in their rating system their rates had dramatically increased and Victoria is now conducting another “review” into their system.
Councillors you are our elected representatives I ask that you as our elected representative unite and send the NSW State Government and IPART a very strong message against any proposed changes from Unimproved Rating System to Capital Improved Valuation and do not approve this proposal CCS19/042.
For and on behalf of the
Eurobodalla Concerned Citizens