Mr Glenn Spear
Council has just concluded the preparation of the 2016/2017 Annual Business Plan and Long Term Financial Plan which were adopted at the Council meeting held on Tuesday 12 July 2016. We have delivered a rate increase of 2.75% which is better than many councils and the lowest increase in more than a decade for the City of Mitcham. Capital projects have been increased and include new footpaths, tree replacements; flood mitigation works and new playgrounds have been provisioned for in the budget. Some on Council prefer higher rates to allow for new capital works, in this economic climate I do not think that is appropriate. I am mindful that we have many pensioners and self-funded retirees in the City of Mitcham and we must work to keep rates low.
I was astonished to have the State Government announce a substantial increase in the waste services levy. This is a tax on every household levied through the ‘backdoor’ of Local Government. The cost will be substantial and the significant increase came from the State Government after many councils had completed their budgets. It is an expense that we had not budgeted for. The State Government knows that this is a tax grab and that the costs will be passed on in the annual rates delivered to households. Of course this additional ‘tax grab; is in addition to the emergency services levy and numerous other fees and charges the government applies to us all. We will need to careful consider how to manage the impact of this increasing levy on our budgets over the next 12 months.”
On a more pleasurable note Tracey and I have recently attended numerous Lions and Rotary Club functions in the City of Mitcham. These wonderful volunteers devote much time and effort to local community and indeed international projects. We thank them all.
Sadly long serving Councillor Mark Ward resigned his Council position to contest the Federal Election. We wish Mark well in his future endeavours, I enjoyed working with Mark and he will be sadly missed. We will have an election in The Park Ward. I implore any person that has an interest in their community to nominate, I find Council an enjoyable and rewarding vocation.