Munro, David

Mr David Munro

Position Elected Member Babbage Ward
Ward Babbage Ward
Suburbs Babbage Ward encompasses the suburbs of Pasadena, Panorama, Bedford Park, St Marys and part of Clapham.
Address PO Box 21
Mitcham Shopping Centre
4 Railway Terrace
Contact Details Mobile: 0403 161 462
Fax: 8372 8101
Term Dates From 14/11/2014

December 2017 

Is Rate Capping (RC) such a bad thing? 

Let’s look at this differently, let’s say electricity price increases can only go up by a certain amount annually. Wouldn’t that be good for businesses or home? It would mean that we could at least know what the maximum increase would be. So why are councils so worried about implementing RC? A well managed council shouldn’t have to worry about being restricted to the maximum rate increase they charge. Good financial management of assets and a true understanding of council's core business should mean that there won’t be a reduction in services or backlog of infrastructure. One argument against RC is that there will be a backlog in infrastructure, but in the other states, NSW & Vic, where RC has been introduced councils can request to go above the rate cap provided it’s approved. Given the extra level scrutiny is subject to a conditional approval by a higher authority seems like a good idea, this forces council to have to consider the expensive thought bubbles that could be approved, costing ratepayers excessive amounts in future years. 

I’ve been through seven budget cycles with Mitcham Council and every year you hear the same old argument that it’s only a few extra dollars per household. Sure it’s only a few dollars in the first year but each and every year that gets compounded and before you know it your rates are becoming excessively higher. 

I’m not politically affiliated with any party, so I’ve been able to consider rate capping independently. Given that we don’t know what the rate cap would be why are councils and LGA (Local Government Authority) against it? Could it be that greater accountability will be brought into question? Or that the really good idea fairies that like to spend thousands of dollars on master plans or consultants would have to reconsider. Could it be that ratepayer’s dollars will be used for core council business and stopping elected members going on a spending spree? 

The argument by the LGA is that council's will lose its ability to implement services and infrastructure. I believe RC will ensure that councils provide the most appropriate services to the community. Councils can’t just increase rates believing its ok because it’s 'only a few dollars' extra. 

Elected Members come to council with different backgrounds and in my experience it’s becoming evident those that are involved in small business and have an understanding of how tough it is to earn a dollar and still manage to pay the expenses. The foundations of a small business operator understand that all these few dollar expenses do add up and up. 

I believe that RC is good for Mitcham, ensuring the City of Mitcham’s income is capped to a maximum amount but if additional funding is required they seek approval. The current system allows Elected Members to set rate increases, but have Elected Members got a true understanding of the bigger picture and able to appreciate the big picture?

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Torrens Park SA 5062

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