The Member for Melton, Don Nardella MLA has strongly supported the government’s stand on capping rates; commencing in the 2016/17 municipal fiscal year.
Mr Nardella said:
Councils and communities in rural and regional Victoria, like Melton and Moorabool, will play an integral role in shaping the Andrews Labor Government’s fair go rates cap.
Councils must make every effort to ensure waste, duplication and or any inefficient services are removed to get maximum return on ratepayer hard earned dollars.
With interest and inflation at an all time low Councils must act to keep costs under tight reign thus reducing pressure on rates.
He also supported Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, who today spoke at the Rural Councils Victoria Forum, where she said that the Labor Government understood that councils in rural and regional areas faced their own unique challenges.
Minister Hutchins said:
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has been tasked by the Labor Government to undertake consultation on the fair go rates cap framework, which will come into effect from 2016-17 and cap rates to inflation.
As part of the consultation process, Ms Hutchins will also establish a Reference Group that includes Rural Councils Victoria and ensures the state’s 38 rural councils can have their say on the rate cap framework.
In addressing the Forum, Ms Hutchins said that many rural and regional councils were doing the right thing and managing their budgets and revenue responsibly.
Ms Hutchins said it was vital that those councils had their voices heard and were part of the ESC’s consultation process.
Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins said:
Our fair go rates cap is about tackling waste and ensuring a fair go for local residents. It’s not about cuts to important jobs and services.
In establishing the ESC Terms of References, which will help guide the fair go rates cap, we made sure the challenges faced by rural and regional councils were taken into account.
We’re making sure we get this right. Through consultations with councils and local communities, the process will be flexible enough to provide for all councils – from biggest to smallest.