Pay how much?

Barring any more serious management disasters, Brimbank Council rates are set to become one of the major issues between now and November.

By most reckonings, Brimbank ratepayers are paying through the nose with some of the highest rates and charges in Melbourne. Yet compared to other councils, the range of services and quality of public facilities does not match up. And this with a highly paid CEO and no less than five senior managers on the payroll as well.

Neighbouring Maribyrnong Council has put forward a rate increase of 2.9% in its draft budget (Brimbank Leader 17.5.05), while Brimbank ratepayers are being softened up to expect a 6% increase.

This would most likely lead to calls for the Minister to intervene under part 8A of the Local Government Act. Elderly pensioners are among the 1700 households who are currently behind with their rate payments (Brimbank Leader 17.5.05).

This mentality of raising the rates while cutting the services has to stop.

Paying too much
Brimbank Leader 10.5.05

Brimbank charges almost the highest rates in Melbourne and Brimbank pays almost the highest price for a chief executive officer.

When SunRRA conducted a survey that proves Brimbank is about to charge the highest cost for a waste system in Melbourne, councillors were unimpressed, accepting the undocumented platitudes of their staff while dismissing the rigorous, documented and quantified research results of the residents' association.

The big question is: if council staff failed to supply the benchmarks, why didn't our councillors demand those facts?

Irene Shand

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