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



Teenager airlifted off Fraser Island after falling ill

A teenage boy has been airlifted off Fraser Island.

A teenager has been airlifted off Fraser Island.

NEW BUSINESS: SIP espresso bar already has plans to grow

The new SIP espresso bar in Maryborough is becoming a popular stop for locals.

It catches anyone from early morning tradesmen to hospital staff

Backpacker tax scrapped as changes bite on farmers

Rob Bauer of Bauer's Organic Farm. The farm has launched a paddock-to-plate online shop. Photo: LucyRC Photography

BREAKING: Farmers breathe sigh of relief

Local Partners

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual