News

MP stands ground, calls on Mayor to reduce rates

MARYBOROUGH MP Anne Maddern has defended her attack on Mayor Gerard O'Connell, but continued to call on him to find savings and reduce rates.

Ms Maddern is on sick leave, but when speaking to the Chronicle from her home, reiterated her point that the Mayor needed to listen to the community.

When asked about Cr O'Connell's rate rise, Ms Maddern said her Maryborough ratepayers had said they couldn't "continue to sustain rate increases".

"He's missing the point," she said.

"Someone who's on a pension can't sustain a 7% rate increase.

"Now, Gerard says it's 3% and on general rates it is - but on the bottom line it's 7% because it's got infrastructure charges and other charges added into it."

One of the charges added to the council's rates notice was the State Government's fire levy.

But Cr O'Connell was again on the front foot on Wednesday, citing $15 million saved since the 2008 amalgamation.

"If Anne's got some genuine suggestions, solutions or strategies, I'm more than happy to discuss it," he said.

"Not backwards and forwards in the media - that's not how it's done."

He also said this year's budget took months of planning and was the most intensely scrutinised budget he had been involved in.

In the third attack on Cr O'Connell since June, Ms Maddern said she was standing up for ratepayers by criticising the Mayor.

"All I am doing is passing (feedback) on to him," she said.

However, Ms Maddern disagreed feedback had only been given to the mayor through media statements.

"It has been done in private with Gerard at meetings," she said.

"I have written quite a number of letters to council on rating issues.

"Gerard needs to understand that his community is crying out with the pain of rates."

Cr O'Connell said his door was always open.

Despite saying she wasn't "going to tell Gerard how to do it", Ms Maddern offered some suggestions to the council.

"They need to do two things - they need to grow the rate base," she said.

"Secondly, they need to look at savings.

"It is after all, the mayor's budget - that's what it's called."

Cr O'Connell said the removal of a 40% electricity subsidy by the State Government had hurt the council - but Ms Maddern told him to deal with it.

"I agree these are additional charges, but every other council has to deal with them as well," she said.

"Other councils seem to be able to manage their budgets significantly better."

Topics:  anne maddern, fraser coast regional council, gerard o'connell, maryborough, mayor, mp, rates




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Outgoing chairman’s warning to council

Paul Cotton has used his departure to warn councillors

Best tackle store on the line for M’boro’s Freedom Fishing

HOOKED: Freedom Fishing Supplies staff members, (left) Sheree Lehr, Amanda Drury, Michelle Devenish and Melissa Frohloff have their fingers crossed for a win after being nominated for a national award.

Freedom Fishing Supplies, finalist for nation's best tackle shop

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Latest deals and offers

WIDE BAY LEAGUE: Cameron Hanrahan talks about United Warriors' win

WIDE BAY LEAGUE: Cameron Hanrahan talks about United Warriors' 4-3 win over Sunbury...

MATCHPLAY MINUTE: U13 Girls state hockey 2

This segment features the Under-13 Girls State Hockey Championships fixture between...

MATCHPLAY MINUTE: U13 Girls state hockey 1

This segment features the Under-13 Girls State Hockey Championships fixture between...

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"