Councillors call for independent review to cut costs
COUNCILLORS Chris Loft and James Hansen have called for an independent review of the council and its operations in a bid to find ways to reduce costs and ensure rates are kept low.
Their calls follow a Chronicle report last week about residents' anger at their recently released rates, as well as complaints from people who said their rates increases were far higher than the 5% forecast by the Mayor.
Cr Loft first called for the review, which would look into how the council runs its business and find more efficient ways to operate, in July when the budget was being delivered.
"I made an 11-minute speech and included in that was a request that I will be looking for over the course of the next period a total review of council," the Division 3 councillor said.
"It would look at absolutely everything, a total review looking at efficiencies, key performance indicators, everything."
Cr Loft said the council, like any business, could find more efficient ways to operate and still offer the services people expected.
Division 1 representative Cr Hansen issued a response to the Chronicle while on holidays after reading the rates story.
"I knew that the increases in category four rates was wrong and would cause unnecessary hardship to people, especially the old Woocoo and Tiaro areas," he said.
"No matter what they say there is no way you can justify 20% rate increase and that is why I was against it. In my opinion, the whole way rates are done needs to be looked at and I as such support Chris Loft's call for a full review."
The pair's comments will no doubt be welcomed by the many ratepayers who feel they pay too much.
Some 48 people commented on the Chronicle's Facebook page and almost 30 took to our website following our report last week headlined: Anger as Fraser Coast rates bills arrive.
Many wanted an opportunity to have a voice, and it is at their request the Chronicle has set up an online poll to gauge rates increases across the region.
How to calculate your percentage rate rise
- Take the difference between last year's rate and this year's rate and divide it by last year's figure then multiply by 100
- Eg. $1200 - $1000 = $200 divided by $1000 = 0.2 x 100 = 20%
Tell us how much your rates have increased
This poll ended on 30 August 2013.
Rates bill was less than for 2012-13
Rates increase of less than 5%
Rates increase of 5%
Rates increase between 5% and 10%
Rates increase between 10% and 20%
Rates increase of more than 20%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.