Well Liverpool, you have most certainly come off second best. Except according to the evening news we topped the list with the highest increase across the state. Despite our (my) protestations we have been hit with the increase in rates and in perpetuity, 12% and until 2024 the council will have to advise what is being done with the money but after that they hope you’ve forgotten about it and absorbed it just as they will. (from the IPART document: ‘Based on Liverpool City’s Council’s application, average ordinary residential rates will increase by $36 in 2014/15, business rates will fall by $205, and farmland rates will fall by $102.’) It will be interesting to see how accurate this turns out to be. ( to clarify some of my comments for my newer readers, in 2009 we were ‘promised’ that the SRV Special Rate Variation, would be for 5 years only, thereby removed in 2014. I take the word of the elected and staff very seriously (I am learning) and while in essence the actual rate increase will be approx., 3% more than you paid this year…. some of us were expecting the 9% reduction.)
The other thing disappointing is that I was assured (at the urban forum) that my request for additional information regarding the budget, specifically the executive portion, would be forthcoming, well to date no it hasn’t. I am hugely disappointed that council expects us to comment on the new budget without sufficient information, well pretty much no itemised detail. Then again if history was to repeat itself Cllr Hadchiti would simply dismiss any submission I made, so what do I do…keep plodding on I guess. Somewhere, sometime democracy will take hold in Liverpool and the voice of the community, be it one person or all, will be heard. Perhaps with the new CEO some of the finer details won’t be overlooked and process will be returned to Liverpool. I think the division of local government would be relieved to get fewer complaints.
It’s now almost a week since the last council meeting, it was a little rushed and jovial because the #powermadmayor had an appointment with his telly. The desire of many to cut things short clearly worked for the Labor who managed to have a few items ticked rather than ignored was a pleasant change… the plus… a better humour, the majority lost a few of their proposals (two sick Councillors) and some important wins for Liverpool were gained. I was particularly pleased to see Cllr Stanley s’ motion to write to the Federal Govt expressing our view that changes to the racial vilification laws were not supported by LCC. Interestingly this meeting showed a very obvious change in behaviour when the majority have other places to be, like the extraordinary meeting the day before. At the time I struggled to understand why the need for an extraordinary meeting, I was told it is normal process but I really think it more likely that going to dinner after a lengthy scheduled meeting might mean missing the football and a free dinner on our purse, lucky they now have an extra 12%. I give credit where due, they did pick my favorite Liverpool restaurant as the venue and only time will tell if the new CEO can bring people as a priority to Liverpool. Things like spending 6 figures to relocate the mayoral office across the floor is certainly excessive, having built my own commercial office space I say that with a modicum of experience. Also having every piece of paper leaving the council in a pseudo advertising campaign for the Mayor is unjust and somewhat sickening, that is not my comment alone, I’m hearing quite a lot of dissent from the residents, who are annoyed by the blatancy of the advertising…..they’re a wake up to you Ned!
So a quick run down, all residents are facing a rate increase, Business will save money (any one else see a pattern here with the Libs in control)… it’s time to put pen to paper about the budget. One resident confessed to me last week she would not be bothering this year, as it was unlikely anyone would listen. Nice just the kind of confidence we need to hear…but that said there are times I must agree.
If your opinion varies to mine or you have something to add, please don’t hesitate… I’ll post it here.