Council back-flips on rate capping

ADELAIDE Plains Council has back-flipped on its controversial decision to cap its rates, just one month after voting to align future rate rises with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The decision, which would have seen council’s “future rate rises be aligned to, and not exceed, each year’s current South Australian Consumer Price Index”, was overturned by elected members at Tuesday night’s meeting.

CPI is an indication of the rising costs of regular goods and services each year.

Adelaide Plains Council Mayor Tony Flaherty put forward the motion to “rescind” the original rate capping decision, saying he felt there wasn’t enough conversation prior to the vote being carried.

“There wasn’t a great deal of discussion,” Mr Flaherty said.

“That’s not to say by rescinding the motion that it can’t come back at the budget.”

Councillor Eddie Stubing supported Mr Flaherty, saying there are cases of interstate councils aligning rates with CPI and having damaging outcomes.

“I don’t want these people hurt,” he said, pointing at the gallery.

Cr Stubing did state council has financial challenges however, and, from current figures, that staffing numbers and costs
need to be reviewed.

“Our cost of our labour is too high and we spend too much,” he said.

“There needs to be better economic management because our employment costs are too high.”

Following the meeting, Councillor Steve Jones, who put forward the original rate capping motion, said he hopes this should
start a conversation in the community.

“I wasn’t disappointed with the decision,” he said.

“I think it was a positive thing that we now have the chance to hear from the community, and bring them into the conversation.

“In my opinion, people are hurting out there already.

“By the rate capping decision ever getting through, I think it was a wake-up for all the organisation.”

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Growing up in Roseworthy and attending Kapunda High School, Laura joins The Bunyip in June, 2016 whilst completing the final year of a double degree in Journalism and International Relations at University of SA. This is Laura's first role as a Journalist following a stint at Gawler Council in the Communications Department. She will cover the news in the Playford and Mallala council regions. Outside of work, Laura enjoys anything health and well-being related, and can be regularly seen shopping for fresh, healthy produce at local markets.

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