LETTER: Business owner suffers as costs climb

I RECENTLY received a copy of Chris Loft's newsletter where he explains his reasons for contesting the position of Fraser Coast mayor in the upcoming March elections.

As a disgruntled ratepayer and a disillusioned small business operator (Maryborough Seniors Village) Cr Loft's reasons and his decision come as a welcome breath of fresh air.

In the financial year of 2007-08 - the year of the formation of the Fraser Coast regional "super-council" - council's total rates and charges applied to my business amounted to $27,484. By the financial year 2014-2015, council's charges had increased to more than $85,000 - an increase of more than 200%.

ABS figures indicate that over the same period, inflation in Australia was 18.3%. Simple mathematics shows Fraser Coast council's charges - to my business - have multiplied by a rate that is more than 10 times the national rate of inflation.

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With no higher authority and unbridled power, council's "taxes" are irresponsible and out of control.

As an example I cite the Water Access charges applied to my business.

In the financial year of 2012-13, without prior notice or warning, council increased my commercial water access charge from $3116 to $19,995.

Only months earlier Gerard O'Connell was elected to the position of mayor on a platform that promised to "restrict council's charges".

During Mayor O'Connell's reign, council's "taxes" have caused all ratepayers financial stress.

What makes this action even more perplexing is that the future projects envisaged for these funds includes such indulgences as a new multi-million dollar Taj Mahal of council chambers.

In these difficult times this type of expenditure is a totally unnecessary extravagance.

There are rough seas ahead and this ship needs a new captain.

BRUCE WICKS

Maryborough



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