Mayor facing harsh criticism about rate rise

FRASER Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell is weathering a political storm after presiding over a controversial budget.

Despite Cr O'Connell's best efforts, the rate increase hasn't been received well by the community or some of his colleagues.

Councillor Rolf Light was critical of the way Cr O'Connell had continually increased rates.

Cr Light said Cr O'Connell's election commitment in 2012 was to have a rate freeze.

"He's used that as an election platform and hasn't reproduced it in office," he said.

"When is he going to honour his election commitment?"

Cr O'Connell fought back, saying the issue had been dealt with several times.

"My commitment was for really decisive and positive leadership and clear, transparent (financial) management," he said.

Fraser Coast Ratepayers Association president Allan Fuary was critical of the rate increase.

"People are suffering - they can't afford anymore money," he said.

"This mayor - I think he believes in fairies at the bottom of the garden.

"We can't go on spending like drunken sailors - and that's what this mayor is all about."

Cr O'Connell said the proposition he put to the finance team was that he wanted a very cost-effective budget.



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