THE Fraser Coast's rural councillor believes the council can't continue to milk its ratepayers and has called on his colleagues to get back to basics.
James Hansen was one of three councillors to vote against the Fraser Coast Regional Council's 2014-15 budget.
Cr Hansen, who runs a farm at Boompa, told the Chronicle he would continue to fight for ratepayers against the rising rates.
"I voted against the budget because I thought people were doing it pretty tough," he said.
"I've always been pushing the cause that council should get back to basics.
"It's really on us to find savings and pass those savings on to the ratepayer.
"I just don't think you can continue to really milk people."
Cr Hansen specifically cited the 30% rates increase some businesses faced as too tough.
"Rural commercial is really hurting," he said.
"A 30% increase is a huge increase in anyone's language."
Along with Cr Chris Loft and State Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern, Cr Hansen backs an independent audit of the council.
"I'm still pretty keen for that," he said.
The country councillor described the battle for ratepayers as "a hard slog," and urged his colleagues to cut services.
"I think it's got to be a mindset change," he said.
"We may have to look at deferring some projects, certainly the fluffy ones, and get back to basics."