Rates vote sets city up for next 20 years: mayor


"THE biggest decision that this council will make during its four and a half year term."

With those words Coffs Harbour City Mayor, Councillor Keith Rhoades, implored his colleagues to pass the motion to seek a 21.35 per cent rate rise from Local Government Minister Tony Kelly at Thursday night's council meeting.

"If it is granted it will set Coffs Harbour up for the next 20 years," he said.

"If it isn't it will set us back 10 to 15 years."

The motion was passed by all councillors bar Cr Gavin Smithers, who expressed concerns about the affordability of the ambitious $86-million City Facilities plan, its impact on retired ratepayers and environmental aspects of its implementation.

Earlier Cr Rod McKelvey sought, and was given, assurances that the extension of Hogbin Drive would be constructed as environmentally sensitive as possible to avoid vegetation loss and flooding along Coffs Creek.

Cr Ian Hogbin described the community consultation about the plan as the most extensive ever undertaken in the city.

As a result of concerns aired by farmers during the consultation process he indicated he will push for a resolution of the city's Rural Strategy by June next year.

Cr Hogbin systematically addressed all the other concerns raised during the consultation process and said that any pensioners who feared not being able to afford the rate increase should investigate options to realise their retirement assets.

Council's application for a 21.35 per cent rate rise is now before the Local Government Minister.

A decision from the minister is expected within the next fortnight.

Environment groups walk away from NSW forestry negotiations

LOGGING LOGGERHEAD: Peace between environment groups and the NSW Government is threatened.

Agreements between government and environmentalists threatened

Regions declared big winners in SCU funding deal

ALL SMILES: Professor Shoemaker is thrilled by the deal struck with the Federal Government.

Funding deal puts Allied Health campus in Coffs back on track

Swimmer missing at Valla while others rescued along Coast

An IRB is searching the waters at Valla Beach for a missing swimmer.

Search for missing man caught in Valla rip will start again at 6am.

Local Partners